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Your Cocktail Comes With a Real Frostbitten Toe At This Canadian Bar

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(Image: Jean-Francois Bergeron via Enviro Foto)

We love a good drinking challenge, but we may have found our limit with this one.

Order the Sourtoe cocktail at Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Canada, and you’d better be ready to take the name seriously. The $5 cocktail is a shot of whiskey with an actual frostbitten human toe as your garnish. This popular cocktail has been served since 1973 when a patron found the frostbitten toe of rum runner Louie Linken preserved in a jar of alcohol and brought it to the bar.


Here’s the certificate you receive after finishing your drink:

(image: Instagram/culinarystudio)

And no, popular wasn’t a typo in the previous sentence. The bar claims it has served the cocktail more than 100,000 times, with participants receiving a certificate proving their bravery when they’ve completed the drink. They even have a Toe Master, a man named Terry Lee who’s responsible for preserving the bar’s current collection of toes.

If you haven’t closed your browser in disgust yet, know that there are only two rules for drinking the Sourtoe cocktail. The first is simple: “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but your lips must touch the toe.”

The second seems just as easy to follow, but apparently it’s not: Don’t swallow the toe. Several patrons have done so, and they each had to pay a $500 fine. The fine is now up to $2,500 after a man in 2013 swallowed a toe on purpose. Luckily (?) the bar has had a steady stream of donated toes to counter the swallowings, all dehydrated and preserved to ensure sanitation. As if that makes it any better.

Locations: Canada Dawson City
Series & Type: News

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