Launched in 2010, before the current gin craze took hold of the country, Fifty Pounds is said to be made to a centuries-old recipe dating back to the times of the first gin craze. The original recipe became known, ironically, as Fifty Pounds Gin in reference to the Gin Act of 1736 which imposed an annual levy of £50 on anyone wishing to produce and sell gin. The cost should have crippled producers but only two license applications were ever received and the gin craze, and the attempt to curb it, continued unabated for many more years!
With recent reports claiming that us Brits are currently spending £1million a day on gin, and drinking 19million litres of mothers’ ruin annually, there is little escaping that we seem to be in the midst of a new gin craze. The original Gin Craze took place in the first half of the 18th century when gin consumption hit record levels, particularly in London, where it was estimated that one in every four properties housed some sort of distilling equipment. The Government was forced to introduce eight Gin Acts between 1729 and 1751 before the Gin Craze was brought under control, although not without rioting in the streets of London and a mock funeral for the spirit’s personification, Madame Genever! Then, as a consequence of new distilling methods, and the arrival of gin palaces on our streets, there was a gin resurgence during the Victorian era. Launched in 2015, during this most recent gin renaissance, Gin Lane 1751 brings together all these moments in the history of gin.