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The Downtown Hotel is once again requesting donations of human toes.
August 27, 2013 4:13 PM   Subscribe

The famous $500 Sourtoe Cocktail features a human toe at the bottom of it. When drinking this famous Dawson City cocktail at the Downtown Hotel, it is traditional to kiss the toe. It is not traditional to swallow it. CBC Radio's As It Happens interviews the bar's "Toe Captain" to get the full story. [audio only]
posted by thisclickableme (37 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Crap, don't know why the same link is appearing twice in this post. Mods, would you consider de-linking the first sentence?
posted by thisclickableme at 4:16 PM on August 27, 2013


Way to put your best foot forward. And here you thought you nailed it.
posted by stenseng at 4:18 PM on August 27, 2013


You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don't wanna know about it, believe me.
posted by OHenryPacey at 4:19 PM on August 27, 2013 [19 favorites]


Fixed. And I'd like to note for the record that while the toe-swallower is named Josh, he is from New Orleans.
posted by cortex at 4:20 PM on August 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure I want to put a toe in those waters...
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:20 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


CBC News article

The fine for swallowing the toe has now been raised to $2500.

Lee says the tradition will continue as the bar had a backup toe.


A BACKUP TOE.

Or, similar to a theatrical understudy, the under toe.
posted by GuyZero at 4:21 PM on August 27, 2013 [28 favorites]


"Can I just step back a moment."

Good instinct, lady.
posted by yoink at 4:21 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


According to the Sourtoe Cocktail Club website it's only five bucks and you can have it with your fluid of choice.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:22 PM on August 27, 2013


Wait! Wait! Isn't this drink low level Cannibalism?!?
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 4:23 PM on August 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


The $500 is the fine for swallowing the toe.
posted by GuyZero at 4:23 PM on August 27, 2013


Oh. Of course.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:24 PM on August 27, 2013


Man, I was going to make an As It Happens post, but now it'll be a semi-dupe.

Anyway, everyone should listen to their recent "best of" episode, Perseverance. "A man who completed the London Marathon in a snail suit. A family that gave their pet chicken CPR. And the world-record holder in fist-pumping."

It is seriously the best set of radio interviews EVER. It's practically an episode of This Is That.
posted by GuyZero at 4:25 PM on August 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wait! Wait! Isn't this drink low level Cannibalism?!?

Can't get much lower than the toe.
posted by yoink at 4:32 PM on August 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


A real foot in the mouth situation
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:33 PM on August 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thank you Cortex (for the fixing, I mean).
posted by thisclickableme at 4:33 PM on August 27, 2013


Pfff, I've put my foot in my mouth lotsa times.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:37 PM on August 27, 2013


Wait! Wait! Isn't this drink low level Cannibalism?!?

In which case, don't drink it in front of NPCs.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:43 PM on August 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Previously on Metafilter
posted by leotrotsky at 4:47 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


And now to bring it to an even lower standard, how about a camel toe in your drink?
posted by ashbury at 4:51 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


He mentioned that they alternate toes every week, allowing one to dry out from the brine they keep it in. I have to wonder - how old was this toe that was swallowed? Also, if the toe used for the drink is kept on ice, it probably doesn't dilute the alcohol very much, so you get the full flavor of the Yukon Jack (or whatever) it's poured over...

Maybe I'll just open my own bar, where I can scrape plates full of beans into drinks.
posted by antonymous at 4:59 PM on August 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd drink one. I'd go with a whiskey sour to dunk my toe in.
posted by Windigo at 4:59 PM on August 27, 2013


I'm thinking pousse-café.
posted by GuyZero at 5:04 PM on August 27, 2013


They should open up one of those mobile cafes to serve this drink. You know, sort of a - toe truck.

Yeah, I'll see myself out.
posted by koeselitz at 5:05 PM on August 27, 2013 [16 favorites]


What
posted by double block and bleed at 5:09 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


portland has a thriving foot-cart scene fyi
posted by cortex at 5:09 PM on August 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's nice to know the toes are donated rather than, um, procured via other means.
posted by tommasz at 5:11 PM on August 27, 2013


"You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don't wanna know about it, believe me."

I sincerely had hoped that this wouldn't appear in this thread, but rather would float serenely on the waves of our collective consciousness, insinuating itself as we read.

They really ought to paint bright red toenail polish on that sucker.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:14 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


if the toe used for the drink is kept on ice

The toe's packed in rock salt. I kissed it -- one of 'em, anyway -- back in February. There's a little ritual that goes along with it, which gussies it up as a sort of Klondike thing but I was told it actually only dates to the birth of Dawson's tourist industry in the '70s. Anyway, there's an official sort of swearing in as the toe gets unpacked. Then it's dropped into a glass of Yukon Jack (which is a sweet whiskey liqueur similar to Southern Comfort) and you slug back the drink, and you touch the toe to your lips as you drink. Then you get a certificate, suitable for framing if you're the sort of person who frames certificates from weird drink dares.

In February at the Downtown Hotel, you get the ritual all to yourself, but apparently at the peak of tourist season when the busloads arrive on overnight trips from Alaskan cruise ships docked at Skagway, the line-up can go right out the door.

All in all, neither as troubling nor as satisfying as drinking rice wine with the still-beating heart of a snake dropped into it (which you can do in the snake village outside of Hanoi), but I don't regret it.

Should you find yourself in Dawson, the best place to drink is actually Bombay Peggy's, and the most anything-goes Klondikey place to drink is the lounge at the Westminster Hotel, affectionately referred to as the Pit. (Here are some pics of the Pit and related shenanigans during Dawson's Thaw-Di-Gras in March, which is highly highly highly recommended.)
posted by gompa at 5:18 PM on August 27, 2013 [12 favorites]


Oh, also -- this may be mentioned in the CBC piece, haven't listened yet -- but this is not the first toe they've lost to an overzealous patron. I was told a semi-truthful tale of the possibly multiple toes and their origins and such, but the story was related to me after kissing the toe and repairing to the Pit for further libations, so I can't remember much other than having been told the story.
posted by gompa at 5:22 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's nice to know the toes are donated rather than, um, procured via other means.

A human foot washes up on a BC beach every couple years so I'm guessing that the easiest way to get 'em.
posted by GuyZero at 5:24 PM on August 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


I say...
posted by ersatz at 5:24 PM on August 27, 2013


Served with a side of lingonberry pfannkuchen.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:57 PM on August 27, 2013


There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold

posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:34 PM on August 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


why. why do you do this
posted by ostranenie at 8:34 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dawson City is an amazing place and you should absolutely go there if you get the chance. It's like one of those old reconstructed mining towns, except it's still going as an actual mining town, complete with real grizzled miners and everything!

Plus, it's in the Yukon, which is beautiful and amazing in general.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:34 PM on August 27, 2013


Call me an old fashioned, but I think I'd rather have a piece of lemon in my cocktail.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:42 AM on August 28, 2013


I'm not calling you an old fashioned unless it's an orange wedge and a maraschino cherry.
posted by cortex at 7:41 AM on August 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


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