Green’s Dictionary of Slang

spike v.2

[such adulteration adds ‘sharpness’]

1. (also spike up) to add alcohol (clandestinely) to an ostensibly non-alcoholic drink; occas. of adding flavour to non-alcoholic drinks (see cit. 1949).

in S. McIlwaine Poor White (1939) 133: Water from biled hops an’ poke root, an’ sweetened wi’ lasses and spiked wi’ good strong whiskey .
[US]E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words and Phrases’ in DN II:i 63: spike, v. To fortify a drink by adding wine or spirits.
[US]H.E. Rollins ‘A West Texas Word List’ in DN IV:iii 229: spike, v. To flavor with wine or whiskey, as ‘She spikes her cakes’.
[UK]R. Carr Rampant Age 148: Sorry I haven’t got anything to spike this stuff up with.
[US]J.L. Kuethe ‘Prison Parlance’ in AS IX:1 27: spike. To doctor beer.
[US]This Week Mag. 7 May 20/2: Drinking water tastes so bad it has to be spiked with lime or orange extract [DA].
[US]N. Algren Walk on the Wild Side 28: She spiked a coke with tequila.
[US]M. Braly Felony Tank (1962) 121: She spiked her own coffee.
[UK]G.F. Newman You Flash Bastard 92: She fetched him milk, and a tissue. ‘Want it spiked with scotch?’.
[UK]Guardian G2 25 Aug. 9: I nicked booze from home to bring to school, where we spiked our cokes.
[US]S. King Dreamcatcher 364: He might be able to promote something to spike his coffee with.
[US]T. Dorsey Riptide Ultra-Glide 130: Coleman sipped a bottle of Dr Pepper spiked with vodka.

2. to adulterate ‘near-beer’ (brewed during Prohibition) with a mixture of ginger beer and pure alcohol.

[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 63: These barrels of near beer were trucked out to the Arrowhead to be spiked.

3. to adulterate a drink, alcoholic or otherwise, or food, with a knockout drug.

[US]I. Shulman Cry Tough! 209: Now how about us gettin’ back to the pieces we were workin’ on, spikin’ their drinks, and dragging them over to our place.
[US]G. Marx letter 11 Apr. in Groucho Letters (1967) 159: A pint of cough medicine spiked with benzedrine.
[US]P. Rabe Benny Muscles In (2004) 298: That sharp, bitter whiskey. I remember now [...] You spiked it.
[UK]F. Norman Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 100: Any idea how they spiked the whisky?
[UK]K. Lette Foetal Attraction (1994) 128: All she had to do was spike his food with olive oil to boomerang him back into the clinic.
[UK]H. Mantel Beyond Black 206: I’m baffled about that episode [...] I think it must have been when we went to that café-bar in Northhampton, somebody must have spiked my drink.

4. to (clandestinely) put a hallucinogenic drug (usu. LSD) into a drink or, occas., food.

[US]T. Wolfe Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1969) 275: He laughed and held me very close and told me that the Kool-Aid had been ‘spiked’ and that I was just beginning my first LSD experience.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Airtight Willie and Me 214: Ain’t it some bad shit [...] It’s spiked with angel dust.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 5 Nov. 23: Some grunged-out, narco-terrorist had spiked the water supply with acid.
[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 123: Tha fuckin cunt Mickah. Spiked me fuckin drink with a trip.

5. to adulterate food or drink with a foreign substance other than a drug, i.e. ground glass.

[US]J. Stahl Plainclothes Naked (2002) 7: It wasn’t the first time she’d spiked his food [...] [a] little ant killer here, a dollop of furniture polish there. All in nuptial fun.
[US]W. Ellis Crooked Little Vein 1: I spiked bait with warfarin.

6. (drugs) to adulterate a narcotic with some form of poison.

[US]Simon & Burns ‘Hard Cases’ Wire ser. 2 ep. 4 [TV script] Just tell yourself that I spiked it, and be grateful you’re still standing.