It sounds like something out of a horror film: You’re enjoying a glass of local bourbon after a long day. You take a swig, when something grazes your lips. It's not an ice cube, it's not a lemon wedge — it’s none other than a human toe. Introducing the very real, very questionable Sourtoe Cocktail. Try it if you dare (it is almost Friday the 13th after all).
What the Sourtoe Cocktail is and where to find it
This dreadful drink can be found at the Sourdough Saloon, a bar in Dawson City’s Downtown Hotel, located in Yukon, Canada — and the concoction has been around since the 1970s.
The gnarly garnishes featured in the Sourtoe Cocktail are dehydrated and pickled, then stored in salt. The drink itself is just a shot of whiskey, CBC reported — but bar manager Jonny Klynkramer told The Canadian Press that the toes "pair best with tequila."
— charlene rooke (@packlight) April 7, 2018
Those who are brave enough to drink it are inducted into the Sourtoe Cocktail club and receive a certificate of honor.
How to drink the Sourtoe Cocktail
There’s only one rule for consuming this cocktail: You must touch the toenail to your lips.
Other than that, Sourtoe Cocktail drinkers must not — must not — swallow the toe. (Seems like common sense, right?)
For whatever reason, some have gulped a toe down, but they've paid the price (loads of disrespect plus a $500 fine). One man learned the hard way in 2013 and was reportedly run out of town (you can watch a video of the toe-swallowing here, if you so choose).
We have to ask: Where do the Sourtoe Cocktail toes even come from?
The Sourdough Saloon usually gets the Sourtoe Cocktail toes from people who’ve lost them to frostbite, lawnmower accidents or surgery, according to The Canadian Press. Apparently, the bar is always open to donations since a handful of toes have been stolen or swallowed over the years.
And on Friday, it was reported that one British man, Nick Griffiths, is donating three of his to the saloon. They were amputated just last month after he got frostbite during the Yukon Arctic Ultra sled dog race back in February.
"It would be quite a novelty one day ... to say 'your granddad's toe is in a bar in Canada," Griffiths told The Canadian Press.
If you so happen to need your big toe amputated, you may want to consider donating it to the Sourdough Saloon — they are the most popular digits for the Sourtoe Cocktail.
"We always prefer big toes," Klynkramer said, "they're the meatiest."