The legendary Sourtoe Cocktail

By Matt Bossons
[contributor]

“You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but the lips have got to touch the toe.”

The Captain with the toe. MATT BOSSONS / THE RUNNER

Stranger words have never been spoken, but as the words left his mouth my lips touched the glass. I tipped it back. Slowly. And the black, pickled toe came into sight. It looked big, and it certainly took my attention away from the whiskey that was now running towards my mouth.

Once the booze was on its way down, the toe was next. I didn’t plan to put it in my mouth, not worth it. Many other lips had touched this before mine, and although there are many toes used for the cocktail – it still wasn’t worth it.

The toe slid down the inside of the wet glass and gently touched my top lip. Some would say this is gross, but it really didn’t bother me.

Once you have conquered such a strange feat, you become part of what some would call a brotherhood. I don’t know if this is necessarily true, but they give you a certificate – so it’s somewhat official.

If you find yourself in the northern reaches of the Yukon Territory, in the old gold rush town of Dawson City, then head on down to the Downtown Hotel and visit the mysterious old-timer in the corner of the saloon. He will pour you a cocktail like no other.

The 'sour toe' a famous and gruesome attraction in Dawson City. The drink has been featured on OLN's Departures as well as in the Guinness Book of World Records. MATT BOSSONS / THE RUNNER

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