Horlick's, a proprietary beverage made by adding hot milk to a powder made from malt extract and milk, was first manufactured in 1883. It was named after W. Horlick (1846–1936), a British-born American industrialist who ran the firm which made it. Its popularity as a comforting and nourishing nightcap took off after the First World War (along with that of the similar Ovaltine).
In the latter part of the twentieth century the expression ‘make a Horlick's of something’, meaning ‘make a mess of it’, enjoyed some currency in British upper-crust slang. In this context Horlick's may represent a euphemistic substitution for bollocks.
Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.