Did you know that the term “slip them a mickey” may have come from Chicago?
There once was a man named Mickey Finn who, alongside his wife, Kate, opened a bar on S. State Street called the “Lone Star Saloon and Palm Garden Restaurant” in 1896.
It was located in a portion of Chicago called Whiskey Row, which was a pretty rough and tumble neighborhood in its heyday. His place was located on the west side of State St., between Harrison and Congress, at the southern end of Whiskey row near Harrison.
At this very saloon, Mickey ran a school for young pickpockets. The “Garden” of the Palm Garden was a robbing den where his students would pick the pockets of drunkards at the bar.
Mickey, wanting to increase his odds of being able to rob his patrons, created a signature drink called the “Mickey Finn Special.”
The Mickey Finn Special was a special drink consisting of alcohol, Tabasco, snuff-soaked water, and chloral hydrate, a white liquid that would knock the drinker out in seconds.
Women who were paid to flirt with men at the Saloon were instructed to encourage men to order the “Mickey Finn Special.”
Once the “Mickey Finn Special” knocked them out, Mickey and his men would drag the unconscious man into a backroom, strip them of their clothes and money, and then throw them into the back alley.
The person would wake up not knowing what would have happened.
While the Chicago police closed Mickey’s saloon on December 16, 1903, the term “Slip them a Mickey” is still used today!