The Sour Toe Cocktail was established in 1973 after a man named Captain Dick Stevenson discovered a jar with an amputated toe inside while he was cleaning out a trapper’s cabin on the 40 Mile River. It is unclear why he decided to drop it into a drink, but I assume copious amounts of alcohol were consumed before the idea was hatched. At any rate, the Sour Toe Cocktail Club was born.
The rules are simple enough: the toe is placed in a glass of beer or champagne, and the drinker must let the toe touch their lips at least once while the drink is consumed before they can be an honorary member of the Sour Toe Club. “You can drink it fast, or you can drink it slow, but your lips have got to touch the toe.”
The first toe was accidentally swallowed in 1980 by a miner named Gary Younger. Sadly, the toe was not recovered. Sadder still, there is a hefty fine for swallowing a toe, whether it is accidental or not. Seven more toes have been donated over the years after their owners lost them due to medically necessary amputations and assorted accidents. The toes are preserved and stored in jars full of salt when they aren’t garnishing a drink.
Once you’ve managed to down your drink, with the toe touching your lips at least once, you get a cool certificate suitable for framing and, of course, bragging rights since you’re now an official member of The Sour Toe Cocktail Club.
So if you’re ever south of the Arctic Circle and need a little nip to warm you up, you might consider stopping by Dawson City for a “toe-tally” different cocktail. (That was corny, I know. I’d better sign off before I make a heel of myself)