Tito’s, the reasonably-priced Texas vodka brand with a lively Twitter presence, has sent 11 tweets over the past 24 hours clarifying that, no, its beverage does not meet the CDC’s recommended minimum alcohol content for hand sanitizer. Contrary to what various Twitter users apparently believe.
But why did people turn to Tito’s, which contains no more than the industry standard of 40 percent alcohol concentration? Which is priced slightly above the brown bag liquor, the natural choice for bulk elixirs? Which is over twice as expensive per liter (>$20) than Purell ($7.29 at a Manhattan Staples)?
Tito’s first picked up on this March 3 tweet from a user who claimed to have seen a recipe including their brand: “I just saw a recipe to make your own hand sanitizer using Tito’s vodka. Uh, no. That’s why we have grocery store vodka.”
The source of the recipe is unclear, but two people linked to a Good Housekeeping article on making home cleaners, which curiously makes no mention of Tito’s or vodka or hand sanitizer. A post on this forum from yesterday, however, claims that the article did include a hand sanitizer concoction with vodka, as does @COVID19Prepper:
Another user linked to a since-updated USA Today piece titled “Can’t find Purell or other hand sanitizers? Here’s how to make it at home with vodka or rubbing alcohol.”
True, the internet is suffering from a confirmed Purell shortage. Presently, a used 12-pack is going for $575 on Amazon.
While Tito’s could have easily sat back and watched the hand sanitizer money roll in, a representative told Gizmodo that Tito’s is for drinking.
“As soon as we saw the incorrect articles and social posts, we wanted to set the record straight,” the company said in an email. “While it would be good for business for our fans to use massive quantities of Tito’s for hand sanitizer, it would be a shame to waste the good stuff, especially if it doesn’t sanitize (which it doesn’t, per the CDC).”