Drinking terms from different regions and countries can add to the inherent difficulties found in uncommon customs and languages. The mickey is just one of these terms, for although here in the States the term has severe notoriety, in Canada it means something completely and harmlessly different.
Canadian liquor bottle sizes follow the metric system, so instead of the pints or fifths of vodkas sold in the States, you can purchase a mickey of vodka once you cross the northern border. The most widely known form of mickey is a small bottle that contains 375 milliliters, or 13 ounces. Mickeys are slightly curved and designed to fit into larger pockets, and a single mickey of vodka provides enough alcohol for six or seven strong drinks.
A mickey isn't the smallest retail bottle of vodka for sale; that distinction belongs to the mini-mickey. Half the size of a mickey and containing only 187.5 milliliters or 6.5 ounces, the mini-mickey suits nights of lighter fanfare and drinking. The miniature bottles found on airlines are also known as mickeys -- though these are only for sale while in the air. A mini-mickey will make about four strong drinks, while the airline "mickey" is good for only a few.
A Salute to the South
Mickeys don't have to be tiny, as is the case of the Texas mickey. Where the average mickey is a little over a third of liter, the Texas mickey contains three whole liters of vodka -- which means it's not the easiest bottle to pour. Texas mickeys are best for either showpieces or nights of energetic entertaining, and one full Texas mickey will provide enough booze for about 50 strong drinks or 100 average ones.
Hey, Mickey, You're Not So Fine
The mickey that carries caution is the one found here in the States. A mickey, short for Mickey Finn, is something -- usually a narcotic -- added to someone's drink that induces blackouts or comatose and vulnerable states. These type of mickeys are why you should never leave your drink alone when out on the town and why you shouldn't accept drinks from strangers. Other good strategies to counter being "slipped a mickey" are to go out in packs and stick with familiar haunts.
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