Green’s Dictionary of Slang

tape n.1

[ety. unknown; ? link to SE taphouse]

a fiery drink, spirits, usu. gin.

[UK]W. Toldervy Hist. of the Two Orphans III 111: Call for some tape first, said the woman.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Tape, red, white, or blue tape, gin, or any other spirituous liquor.
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 60: Tossing off, on the sly, some tape with a pal undergoing a three months’ preparation to come out as a new member of society.
[UK]Lytton Paul Clifford I 25: Paul, thy heart be good, thy heart be good; thou didst not spill a drop of the tape!
[UK]Thackeray Ravenswing (1887) 83: The former liquor, under the name of ‘tape,’ used to be measured out pretty liberally.
Bon-Ton Gaz. 22 Feb. 49/1: You didn’t look so bounceable [...] the other day. You had better keep to selling yards of thread and have less to do with tape.
[UK]A. Harris Emigrant Family II 151: He used to go around hawking tapes [...] carrying a bottle of rum in his pocket and selling it in the bush at a dump (1s. 3 d.) a glass.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 17 Apr. 6/1: He ’peers to be [...] fly, for he vanted to vill me out the tape (gin) in a dinged upright (measure).
[UK]G.A. Sala Gaslight and Daylight 263: The stuff itself, which in the western gin-shops goes generally by the name of ‘blue-ruin’ or ‘short,’ is here called indifferently, ‘tape,’ ‘max,’ ‘duke,’ ‘gatter,’ and ‘jacky.’.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 234: tape gin ― term with female servants.
[UK]Five Years’ Penal Servitude 246: She’d [...] walk off as easy as I’d swallow a glass of ‘tape.’.

In compounds

tape-shop (n.)

(UK Und.) a gin shop.

[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 58: I take the swell to the tape shop, took our daffies, officed Lumming Ned and Scrapping George; they stalked off to the dossery.