Drink of the Week: The Mickie Walker Cocktail

The Mickie Walker Cocktail.Early last month, the world mourned — something the world has been doing way too much of lately — the passing of Muhammad Ali, a boxer who transcended his sport in so many ways that even a complete non-sports fan like me hero worshiped him just a bit. However, since he was also a devout Muslim, it would probably be wrong to name a cocktail after him.

I actually have no idea what, if any, religious affiliation belonged to another famed boxer, Edward Patrick “Mickey” Walker. Clearly, his cultural impact was nothing remotely like Ali’s, but he was an acknowledged great of the sweet science of knocking people senseless and the winner of the World Welterweight title in 1922 and the World Middleweight title in 1926. I don’t know if he was a drinker or not, but I don’t imagine there were that many tea-totaling boxers during prohibition.

So, presumably Mr. Walker had no objection when Harry Craddock included a cocktail almost bearing his moniker in The Savoy Cocktail Book a few years later. I say almost because Craddock spelled the name “Mickie,” while Walker spelled it “Mickey.” A lot of people get irritable when you spell their name wrong, but he should have been at least a little flattered regardless, because his drink ain’t half bad. Also, it’s got Scotch in it, and there aren’t nearly enough Scotch cocktails.

The Mickie Walker Cocktail (with apologies to the late Mickey Walker)

1 1/2 ounces Scotch whisky
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/4 ounce (dash) fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce (dash) grenadine

Combine in a cocktail shaker and, as per both Harry Craddock and me, shake well with plenty of ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Note, however, that considering the very small proportion of citrus juice in this this drink, many cocktailians might prefer stirring. Not me, though.


Cocktail-aware readers will note that this drink is incredibly close to a Rob Roy, but the addition of that tiny amount of lemon juice and grenadine in the place of bitters makes for a fascinating, and surprisingly floral, tasting variation. I liked it, and so did my in-house cocktail guinea pig.

This is a drink that works nicely with your mid-priced big name blended Scotches. I thoroughly enjoyed it with both Cutty Sark and the Famous Grouse. Going a bit more high-end with my bottle of Glenfiddich gave it a somewhat drier and even more floral taste, which might please some people more than others.

I did, however, go somewhat wrong when I tried the remains of my bottle of ultra-smokey Laphroig. The high level of peat was just way to assertive…but, really, I could have seen that one coming. There’s a time and place for everything, and the Mickie Walker Cocktail is not the place for a bunch of smoke.