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Making a Horlicks
September 24, 2006 9:07 PM   Subscribe

A case of Horlicks for 1,000 - 2,000 British Pounds (the lot description doesn't contains a mention of any actual Horlicks though). Horlicks has been around since 1883. Their early efforts at promotion included the invention of a condition they called 'Night Starvation'. As well as press, radio (they sponsored Dan Dare) and television advertising they also featured in the cinema at one time. These films, made by George Pál, are quite surreal. Although Horlicks seems to be made from the same ingredients as Maltesers, the company has pushed their product in India as making children "taller, stronger and sharper" - tying it in with the Superman Returns movie. Back home in England, Horlicks is made fun of despite the fact that it is one of the ingredients in a jolly nice self-saucing pudding.
posted by tellurian (40 comments total)

 
I will trade you a pound of Horlicks for a pound of Sudanese Blister Beetles for my Uncle Oswald.
posted by caddis at 9:17 PM on September 24, 2006


I lived in Paris for 4 years and Horlicks is the shit.
This is an excellent post.
This is the reason I joined MeFi.
Thank you, tellurian for your good deed in a weary world.
DAMN, what a fine post this is.
posted by squidfartz at 9:31 PM on September 24, 2006


That pudding recipe on nigella.com is useless without pictures of Nigella scoffing down the pudding.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:33 PM on September 24, 2006


I lived in Paris for 4 years and Horlicks is the shit.

MetaFilter: home of the surrealistic non-sequitur
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:35 PM on September 24, 2006


caddis - Would a packing case stencilled No 2 UNCLE OSWALD NAUGHTY WEEKEND and FROM SUDANESE BLISTER BEETLE CO KHARTOUM SUDAN on the top and bottom, and stencilled SUDANESE BLISTER BEETLE TABLETS, and SUDANESE BLISTER BEETLE IN TABLET FORM around the sides, 11 x 15¼ x 5¾in. (27.9 x 38.7 x 14.6cm.) do?
posted by tellurian at 9:37 PM on September 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


Ummm... I lived in Paris (actually 15 minutes from Chatelet Le Halles in Villeneuve St. Georges) and Horlicks (which the French love) is the shit (did I mention that they love it?) ...so I am wondering what is surreal about a simple recollection.

Gimme a bowl in the morning and I am good for the day.

Give me a bowl at night and I am good for tomorrow.

Chapi Chapo!
posted by squidfartz at 9:48 PM on September 24, 2006


That would work. My uncle has plans.
posted by caddis at 9:56 PM on September 24, 2006


as frankly the mysterium version in the empty crate works as well as the version in the full crate.
posted by caddis at 9:58 PM on September 24, 2006


Horlicks (which the French love) is the shit (did I mention that they love it?) ...so I am wondering what is surreal about a simple recollection.

Ah, I never would have guessed that the French love the stuff. I always thought of it as quintessentially English, and an example of one of those products that never ever took off elsewhere.

So, an analogy for how your statement sounded to me might be "I lived in Reykjavik for four years, and Vegemite is the shit".
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:12 PM on September 24, 2006


UbuRoivas - Horlicks is HUGE in India. "In India, 2 billion cups of Horlicks are drunk every year."
posted by tellurian at 10:36 PM on September 24, 2006


Well now. Obviously I must acquire and taste this “Horlicks” in the states.

Heh. Horlicks. Whore licks.

The Horlicks website is really surreal. So a chocolate drink is marketed as a sleep aid? Does this stuff actually help you sleep?
posted by Colloquial Collision at 10:50 PM on September 24, 2006


Vegemite is the shit and as much as I love something salty spread on bread, that's just beans compared to how much I enjoyed Horlick's while in Paris... day or night.

The French put a mouth out to anything tasty.

That is why I love them.
posted by squidfartz at 10:51 PM on September 24, 2006


Horlicks isn't a chocolate drink. It's weird and white.

Now, Ovaltine. That's where it's at.
posted by chrismear at 10:52 PM on September 24, 2006


In India, 2 billion cups of Horlicks are drunk every year

What? Less than two cups per person, per annum, on average? Massive. The chaiwallahs will be shaking in their chappals.

I do have a vague memory of occasionally seeing Horlick's on Indian menus. No Bonox, though.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:55 PM on September 24, 2006


Didn't Pretty Generic have an askmefi about buying Horlicks?
posted by orthogonality at 10:59 PM on September 24, 2006


The only Horlicks I ever knew in my childhood were the candy tablets, which stuck to your mouth and gums for days and were wonderful. My teeth hurt just thinking of them. I was shocked to later hear that people "drink Horlicks."
posted by brownpau at 10:59 PM on September 24, 2006


chrismear : "Horlicks isn't a chocolate drink. It's weird and white."

Apparently I was looking at the wrong product, you're right. (And if Pretty Generic still needs some, he can probably get it from that link...)

Still, a mayonnaise jar filled with what appears to be British jizsm will not deter me from trying it!
posted by Colloquial Collision at 11:06 PM on September 24, 2006


Oddly, Horlicks actually got its start in Chicago and Racine, Wisconsin. The late Shuttle astronaut Laurel Clark went to William Horlick High School.
posted by dhartung at 11:07 PM on September 24, 2006


Horlicks is HUGE in India.

Which is why I was ever so happy to find Horlicks available in Woollies.
posted by dhruva at 11:50 PM on September 24, 2006


I hate Horlicks. My first host grandmother in India made me drink the stuff hot every night before bed, for health reasons.

This was non-optimal, as I'm lactose intolerant.

Malted thinned-out mucus. Yech.
posted by QIbHom at 11:50 PM on September 24, 2006


That's malted, thinned-out anti-microbial snot mixed in with a lot of fat and sugar, thank you very much.

Still, that anti-microbial snot is the only thing I know of that makes chyawanprash palatable.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:00 AM on September 25, 2006


Wow, I've not had Horlicks in ages, the same with Ovaltine. From memory, Horlicks is waaaay tastier than Ovaltine (sorry, chrismear). Mmmm, might have to purchase some today. Thanks for the cool post :)
posted by TheDonF at 12:04 AM on September 25, 2006


Oddly, Horlicks actually got its start in Chicago and Racine, Wisconsin. The late Shuttle astronaut Laurel Clark went to William Horlick High School.

I went to William Horlick High School. As did most of my friends, oddly enough. How many other schools had cross-town rivals who legitimately called them "Horlickers"? Anyone?

Thanks for the FPP, also. Despite growing up in Racine, and knowing all about our malted-milk heritage, I never tasted Horlick's until emigrating to the UK.
posted by String at 12:22 AM on September 25, 2006


Vegemite is shit

Fixed your post, squidfartz.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:34 AM on September 25, 2006


I have heard rumours of a chocolate Horlicks, but I've never seen it in person.

You can find regular Horlicks randomly in America, but my experience is that most folks buy it because of the funny name, and then when I need to replenish my supply - all gone!

I love it. Good for sleeping, at least in my case. It always tastes like the milk you get out of the bowl after finishing a serving of Grape Nuts, but all warmed up.

Not so much like mucus. Unless you hate Grape Nuts.
posted by angeline at 12:43 AM on September 25, 2006


I love ze Horlicks, my parents bought into the "bigger, stronger, sharper" line too. I've had the chocolate flavoured one in Malaysia. Delicious!
posted by liquorice at 1:02 AM on September 25, 2006


angeline - not only chocolate, they have toffee!
posted by tellurian at 1:02 AM on September 25, 2006


[This is good.]

A link to the original “malted” beverage. I had always wondered what the difference is between a milkshake and a malt.

Then a link to the evolution of breasts.

And then a link to a nearly unpronounceable Indian health food item.
posted by Colloquial Collision at 2:08 AM on September 25, 2006


Horlicks reminds me of Sunday nights and Songs of Praise. And retching.
posted by vbfg at 2:13 AM on September 25, 2006


I must be an unusual Englishman for never actually having tasted Horlicks. To me, it's a deprecation not a drink.

"The batsman made a complete Horlicks of that delivery..."

But as a phrase out of fashion for sometime? Twenty years or so, more like! I haven't heard anyone use that phrase in a non-ironic way since prep school.

Great post BTW, I love the lot notes.
posted by dmt at 4:22 AM on September 25, 2006


The chocolate one is the way to go. As can be guessed from its ingredients, it tastes like liquid Maltesers. That's a good thing. (actually, it tastes a lot better than the actual Malteser-branded hot drink, which is more your watery-snot flavour)
posted by flameproof at 5:04 AM on September 25, 2006


One of my fondest memories is sitting on my grandfathers knee in Chicago, eating Horlicks Malted Milk Tablets out of the little glass aspirin-bottle shaped container. Thanks to this post, I realize that he discovered histe taste for them during his tenure in India. The only place I have since found them is a web-based supermarket in Japan, from which I have not had the stomach to pay for shipping. (I'd still be interested in a source...) Thanks for the memories, tellurian!
posted by DesbaratsDays at 5:04 AM on September 25, 2006


I have heard rumours of a chocolate Horlicks, but I've never seen it in person.

The chocolate one is awesome. Even better than the original flavour, which can take some getting used to.

My mum is a confirmed Horlicks addict, having grown up on the stuff, so I have sent her Nigella's Horlicks pudding recipe, thus likely earning me a number of brownie points, thank you tellurian. Great post.
posted by biscotti at 5:16 AM on September 25, 2006


Not that it's vitamin packed or anything, but since we're discussing weird mass-marketed a hot beverages, here's a shout-out for Postum! (I'm the only caffeine-drinker I've met that actually likes the stuff once in a while.)
posted by pax digita at 5:26 AM on September 25, 2006


Horlicks is, I was very surprised to find, one of the few things that helps me with my persistent insomnia. The idea of a "hot milky drink" actually works, for some reason. I think it's to do with tryptophan, but I can't remember exactly.

Horlicks: £1.38
6, instead of 1/2, hours sleep: Priceless.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 5:40 AM on September 25, 2006


That's pretty bizarre that it's from a Wisconsin company, considering I've never, ever heard of the stuff.
posted by smackfu at 7:42 AM on September 25, 2006


Osama on the Horlicks
posted by blue_beetle at 8:51 AM on September 25, 2006


Unfortunately, Horlicks is no longer in Racine. The malt industry made many very rich men in both Racine and Milwaukee in the early days.
posted by JJ86 at 10:40 AM on September 25, 2006


They carry the drink mix and the tablets at Vermont Country Store. link

They also have Fizzies! But not sweetened with cyclamates anymore. :(
posted by monopas at 4:08 PM on September 25, 2006


The box sold for 1,680 pounds.
posted by tellurian at 1:27 AM on September 28, 2006


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