The basic ingredient is, of course, alcohol. For hand sanitisers to work against viruses, such as the Coronavirus, the alcohol content must be at least 60%. Ethanol alcohol (also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, or simply alcohol), mixed with aloe vera gel are the basic ingredients but some hand gels also contain scented oils to make them more pleasant to use. Commercially, iso propyl alcohol (IPA), which is almost identical to ethanol alcohol, is used since it can be purchased at much higher strengths.
Ethanol is produced by distillation. The legal alcohol range in the second distillation of cognac is between 67 – 72.4 degrees so at this stage it is suitable for making hand sanitisers. That said, the quantity of aloe vera which can be added is not as great as sanitisers made with IPA. Hermitage Cognacs often come at natural strength and many of them have an alcoholic strength considerably higher than the minimum (40%) used by many commercial cognac houses.
As is the case with all hand sanitisers at the moment, they should never be used as a replacement for washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.