Published on Wednesday, 04 September 2013 00:00
A bar in Dawson City, Canada is offering a unique drink like no other to adventurous customers. Instead of sticking one of those tiny, pink umbrellas into a cocktail, it is garnished with a severed human toe. The drink is called the Sourtoe Cocktail.
For those who can stomach it, the toe has to be drunk with any kind of liquor that has an alcohol content of 40 percent or higher. On top of paying for the chosen liquor, the customer is required to pay an additional $5 as toe tax to be able to touch the brown, shriveled toe to their lips without swallowing the digit down. A $500 fine would be issued should be toe be ingested.
Someone just recently broke the bar’s rules. Terry Lee, known as the bar’s “Toe Captain” alleged that just recently, an American patron who had tried the cocktail before decided to gulp the petrified toe down on purpose. Lee said that the customer chugged down the cocktail along with the toe, slammed $500 and the rest of the money for the cocktail on the table and left.
“I said, ‘Where’s the toe?’ and he said, ‘I swallowed it’ . . . I was shocked,” Lee recounted. “He just wanted bragging rights, that’s what he wanted.”
The birth of the Sourtoe Cocktail was in 1973 where an eccentric river barge captain called Dick Stevenson picked up a severed toe in an old cabin, randomly decided to drop it into a glass of champagne and downed the liquid in it while the toe touched his lips and remained in the glass.
The bar gives out a Sourtoe Cocktail Club membership card to anyone who has tried the drink. While some rules have changed over the past 40 years, the one solid rule that remains according to the Sourtoe Cocktail Club website
is that; “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow – But the lips have gotta touch the toe.”
While toes have been swallowed unintentionally in all the 40 years that the bar has served this drink, Lee never imagined that anyone would gulp down the “gross looking thing on purpose”.
The bar gets their supply of toes from donors who either lost their toes in an accident or stipulated in their wills that they want their toes amputated and given to the bar.
It is without doubt that the slightly cannibalistic drink is the bar’s biggest draw, and Lee is worried that the business will die down because only one toe remains now. To prevent another customer from violating their rules again, the fine has been increased from $500 to $2,500 for whoever swallows the toe.
“With two toes, we like to give the toes a rest as they last longer, so we trade them off one a week. For a solid week, they’re in the salt and they become rock solid,” Lee explained, also adding that the bar serves an average of 30 to 40 Sourtoe Cocktails a night. “Now that we only have one toe, we have to use it continuously and that’s going contribute to the deterioration of the toe,” he said.
With toes at an all time low for the bar, be sure to get in touch if you have one you would like to part with.
Check out the video below of someone drinking the Sourtoe Cocktail.