The monks used this high percent alcohol as a medical solution with the inclusion of herbs and natural remedies. The use of spirits came into its own at this time when hygiene was not of paramount concern, so the monks used this ‘medicinal alcohol’ as a disinfectant and for wound cleaning. The effective use of medicinal alcohol both internally for stomach illnesses and as an external disinfectant soon became a health craze. No wonder the liquid was soon dubbed the ‘Water of Life’ – a phrase that’s still making the rounds today, depending which pub you go to. The same Irish Distillers produce and distribute hand sanitizer in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Thank you for your help!