Guy Drinks Human Toe Cocktail, Swallows the Toe

There is a bar in Dawson City, Canada, where patrons can opt to have their liquor spiked with a very unusual ingredient – a severed human toe. Those brave enough to try the world-famous Sourtoe Cocktail are required to pay a $5 toe tax and touch the human digit with their lips without swallowing it. Last Saturday night, someone broke the rule…

The Yukon tradition of downing drinks containing a severed toe dates back to the early 1970s, when an eccentric river barge captain by the name of Dick Stevenson found a human digit in an old cabin, dropped it in a glass of champagne and created the Sourtoe Cocktail. In the last 40 years, the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City has served over 52,000 such bizarre drinks to customers from all around the world. Terry Lee, the bar’s “Toe Captain”, says toes have been ingested by mistake in the past,  but he never imagined someone would swallow the “gross looking thing on purpose”. To make sure that didn’t happen the bar also had a $500 fine policy for swallowing the toe, as a deterrent. The unthinkable happened last Saturday, when a man identified only as Josh from New Orleans walked into the place around closing time, and paid the usual $5 to have the toe added to a shot of whiskey. He was a card-carrying member of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club, which means he had tried the unique cocktail in the past. Terry told reporters he downed the drink fast, slurped the toe into his mouth, slammed $500 on the table and walked away. “I said, ‘Where’s the toe?’ and he said, ‘I swallowed it’ . . . I was shocked,” the bartender remembers.



The Sourtoe Cocktail is the main draw of the Downtown Hotel bar, but it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. The toes used are a dark brown color, completely wrinkled and come with the toenail attached. Ever since that first digit found by Dick Stevenson, the bar has received several toes through donations from people who have lost their toes in accidents or have stipulated in their wills that they want their toes amputated and sent to the Downtown Hotel. So I guess some of the toes have come from dead people… Now, with another toe gone, Mr. Lee is left to just one more toe to entertain his customers. “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,” he told The Globe and Mail. “Now that we only have one toe, we have to use it continuously and that’s going contribute to the deterioration of the toe.”


Photo: Laura Donald/Instagram

To make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again, the Downtown Hotel has increased its Sourtoe Cocktail fine from $500 to $2,500 for whoever swallows the toe. The bar is also looking for a new amputated digit, so if you have one to spare, be sure to get in touch.

Source: The Star

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