A FLEDGLING artisan gin brand is putting its alcohol licence to good use... by producing hundreds bottles of hand sanitiser for staff at Colchester Hospital.

Abberton based Oystermen Gin was set to launch this month at food and drink markets across the area.

However, the men behind the project, retirees Gavin Miklaucich, Godwin Baron and Grahame Malcolmson, were forced to pause their plans due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Rather resting on their laurels and waiting for the lockdown to be over, the inventive trio decided to repurpose their gin making facilities in order to create hand sanitiser using the World Health Organisation approved recipe.

The first batch of 250 bottles was handed over to the East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust at Colchester Hospital.

Gazette: The first batch of 250 bottles was delivered to Colchester HospitalThe first batch of 250 bottles was delivered to Colchester Hospital

Mr Baron said: “My daughter Evie is a key worker at a non-dispensing pharmacy, and at one stage they were struggling to get enough hand sanitiser.

“I looked into how it was made and found the World Health Organisation formula.

“This produces an alcohol rub which has approximately 75 per cent alcohol strength and is suitable in the fight against spreading the virus.

“By changing our production process, we knew we could help and where better to do so than in supporting our frontline health workers.

“Like the rest of the country we are full of admiration for our brave and selfless health workers and we also look forward to raising a glass of Oystermen Gin with them when this crisis is over.”

Gazette: Oystermen Gin has produced hand sanitser at its distilleryOystermen Gin has produced hand sanitser at its distillery

Oystermen Gin is inspired by the friends, who hail from Abberton, Wivenhoe and Mersea, shared love of the north Essex coast.

It is infused with an oyster leaf, a hint of Spanish lemon and a twist of Japanese sansho pepper.

Mr Baron said: “The motive behind this project is to promote our beautiful Essex coastline and its fine produce and artists, having collaborated with poet Martin Newell and artist James Dodds on the nautically themed label.”

After becoming certified distillers, the trio set up 3Amigos Artisan Spirits, and plan to create more spirits in the future.

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