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Are You Tough Enough For the Sourtoe Cocktail?


How tough do you think you are? Can you meet any challenge that is put before you? Could you brave the ice roads of Alaska? Would you walk over hot coals, tame a lion or listen to an entire Bieber album? If you think you are tough then the next time you’re in Northern Canada you might want to try the Sourtoe Cocktail.

The Sourtoe cocktail is a tradition in the town of Dawson City in the Canadian Yukon. It’s a dehydrated human toe served in a drink. That’s not a metaphor. it’s a drink with a toe in it. And to properly drink it the toe has to touch your lips.

The story of the drink starts in 1973 when a toe was found in a jar of alcohol in a cabin and then it was put in a drink. Originally the proper way to drink the Sourtoe was with the toe in a beer glass full of champagne. Drink it you join the Sourtoe Cocktail Club. As they say “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow. But the lips have gotta touch the toe.”

Legend is that that first toe was lost to frost bite in the 1920 and that’s how it ended up in that jar. It then lasted until 1980 when it was lost to a Sourtoe Cocktail Club member’s stomach.

Since then, seven more toes have been donated to the bar. Number two was given after an amputation due to an inoperable corn; number three was from a victim frostbite (it was also swallowed accidentally); four was an anonymous toe (later stolen by a hunter); toes five and six were donated by a Yukon old-timer in return for free drinks for his nurses; toe seven was an amputation due to diabetes; and toe eight arrived in a jar of alcohol with the message, “Don’t wear open-toe sandals while mowing the lawn.” -Atles Obscura

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If you find yourself in Dawson City you can try to join the Cocktail Club, if you do you’ll get a certificate to certify your achievement. Recent rule changes say that the Sourtoe Cocktail can be made with any drink, not just champagne or you can get a virgin Southtoe cocktail.

(Via Atlas Obscura)

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