Skip to main content

Bar patron swallows human toe

By Chuck Thompson, CNN
updated 2:30 AM EDT, Wed August 28, 2013
The drink can be anything. It's this real, amputated, human toe that makes it a Sourtoe Cocktail.
The drink can be anything. It's this real, amputated, human toe that makes it a Sourtoe Cocktail.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dawson City's Downtown Hotel serves a cocktail containing a real amputated human toe
  • Over the weekend a customer swallowed the toe as well as the drink -- deliberately
  • He was fined $500, but luckily the bar has a spare toe, so the tradition continues

(CNN) -- Even in the best of circumstances, Dawson City'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 the town in Yukon, for the summer downed his Sourtoe Cocktail, toe and all.

The mixer of choice was reportedly a shot of whisky.

More: World's most bizarre cocktails

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.

10 favorite new bars of 2013

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

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 1:56 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
From Maastricht to Melbourne, these itineraries make bookish travelers look stylish.
updated 4:58 AM EDT, Tue July 29, 2014
Good cocktails combine with spectacular views across rivers, cityscapes and oceans at these bird-level drinkeries.
updated 2:09 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
A California homeowner's nightmare has become a cautionary tale for those who rent their homes to strangers.
updated 10:26 PM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Cinema loves portraying the lives of expats. Sometimes it gets it right. Sometimes it casts Nick Nolte as a jungle king.
updated 9:17 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Don't be intimidated, says a local expert. Here's how to do China without the hassles
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
When your city has an unenviable reputation for insulting tourists and fleecing them for every cent, inviting hotel guests to pay what they want could be a risky move.
updated 3:10 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
1937 Auto Union V16 Streamliner, Audi Museum, Germany
With factory tours and collections of stunning vintage prototypes, southern Germany is petrolhead paradise.
updated 9:44 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Every tourist destination has a flip side, a season when prices go down and savvy, flexible travelers can score big savings.
updated 3:11 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
A Marrakech lamp bazaar
Morocco's Red City is crammed with stunning gardens, shaded souks and steamy bath houses.
updated 12:52 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Santo Stefano Island, Italy
Pristine beaches, unspoiled nature and few tourists -- a stretch on these former penal colonies is no longer a punishment.
updated 3:49 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Life in Joburg can be stressful. Luckily there are some exceedingly non-stressful places close by.
updated 5:07 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Istanbul skyline
CNN's Ivan Watson pays homage to the city he's called home for the past 12 years.
China notches up another superlative achievement as a Nanjing-based artist creates the world's largest and longest anamorphic painting.
updated 4:02 PM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
In what is undoubtedly the world's "coolest" surf video, photographer Chris Burkhard endures freezing temperatures, blizzards and injury to capture Arctic waves and their riders.
updated 11:39 PM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Few airline routes are as cutthroat as the one that travels between London and New York. It is the world's busiest route and there are few lengths airlines won't go to in the hopes of getting a piece of the action.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT