The scene takes place in London, under the reign of George II at the beginning of the 18th century, a period known as the Gin Craze, when one in three houses distilled and sold very dubious quality gin. In order to stop the excesses of this situation a tax of 50 pounds (excessive in anyone's eyes) was imposed by means of a legal notice regarding gin, which is known as the Gin Act 1736. After 6 years only two distilleries paid the tax.
The distillers of this gin have privately maintained an original recipe for many years which, due to the work involved and its high quality, was ironically known as Fifty Pounds amongst them in honour of the Gin Act 1736.
Fifty pounds gin is a grain spirit distilled four times is taken as the base, this means it is neutral, the botanicals are steeped in this alcohol for at least two days, after which time it will be distilled slowly in a hundred-year-old John Dore still (known as the Rolls Royce of stills).
The master distiller subsequently throws away the 'heads' and 'tails' and saves just the 'heart'; after this, the fundamental step of letting the liquid rest for at least three weeks takes place in order that the result combines together properly.
Gin & Genever
Thames Distillers - www.thamesdistillers.co.uk