Liquor that's either illegally produced (bootleg) or just plain cheap. The word hooch is generally associated with whiskey produced during Prohibition (19201933), however, the name originated in the late 1800s with a tribe of Alaskan Indians. It comes from Hoochinoo (Hootchinoo), a Tlingit Indian village on Admiralty Island, Alaska, the inhabitants of which made and sold alcoholic spirits illegally.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.