Even in the best of circumstances, Dawson City, Yukon’s famed Sourtoe Cocktail doesn’t go down smoothly.
On Saturday night, however, the cocktail’s marquee ingredient — an actual human toe — went down a way it was never meant to.
Served by the Sourtoe Cocktail club at Dawson City’s Downtown Hotel, the Sourtoe can be any drink — what makes it a Sourtoe Cocktail is the addition of a real, preserved amputated toe, which is dropped into the glass.
As reported by CBC News, on Saturday, an American visiting town for the summer downed his Sourtoe Cocktail, toe and all.
The mixer of choice was reportedly a shot of whisky.
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The apparently satisfied boozer immediately paid the requisite $500, the bar’s posted fine for swallowing the toe.
This isn’t the first time the toe has been swallowed, but Terry Lee, the bartender on duty Saturday night, thinks it’s the first time the toe has been swallowed deliberately.
“Lee says the tradition will continue, as the bar has a backup toe,” reported the CBC.
‘If you have a spare toe, we need one’
In addition, according to the CBC, the fine for swallowing the toe has been bumped to $2,500.
A donated toe is being sought as a replacement.
“We like to have two toes — we switch them off once a week … and now we can’t do that … we need toes. We’re putting it out there, if you have a spare toe, hey we need one,” Lee told the CBC.
Although nobody seems sure of the origins of the drink, it first appeared in 1973 when drinkers who consumed a glass of Champagne or beer that contained the toe could then declare themselves true “sourtoers.”
The name is a play on “sourdough,” a term for longtime residents of the Yukon and neighboring Alaska.
Today, the toe can be placed in any drink but one rule still applies: “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow — but the lips have gotta touch the toe.”
Some 60,000 people have reportedly tried the Sourtoe cocktail to date.
Sourtoe Cocktail Club, Downtown Hotel, Dawson City, Yukon; Sourtoe Cocktail: $5.80.
Chuck Thompson | CNN