Hooch (or Hooper’s Hooch, to give it its full name) is back. This was exceptionally popular following its launch in 1995 and was, essentially, an alcoholic lemonade (one of the first alcopops), but changing tastes and a backlash on alcopops led to it being discontinued at the beginning of this century.
The new product has been re-named Hooch Alcoholic Lemon Brew. It is bottled at 4%ABV and is targeted primarily at 18 to 35 year old males; owners Global Brands want it to be a competitor to fruit beer and fruit ciders, such as Kopparberg or Jacques.
Now, it has been a long time since I last tried Hooch and my memory of it is a bit vague (plus, my palate was not as well-tested back then), so I’m intrigued to see how the 2012 version fares.
Nose: Zesty lemon, like cloudy lemonade.
Taste: This has a medium-high fizz and is quite tart and zesty. It has a relatively straightforward lemon flavour, a hint of malt in the middle, and a long, sour finish of fresh lemon juice. Clean, crisp and pretty refreshing.
What is surprising is that the alcohol is almost unperceivable; this really just tastes like cloudy lemonade.
This works quite well; although it becomes a little bit more cloying, this is made up for by increased refreshment. It’s pleasant when drunk from a pint glass full of ice. It still seems very non-alcoholic.
I have tried a lot of alcopops and premixes and many are pretty awful. Thankfully, Hooch is amongst the better ones and I, for one, am glad that it has returned.
Hooch is available for around £2 for 500ml from Tesco.
I have some very large Hooch Stickers from the 1990’s when I used to run the student union at UCL. Shame they had to get rid of the cartoon lemon with massive white teeth!