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The Newest Trend in Cocktails? A Severed Human Toe.

on 20/11/12 at 8:46 pm

Booze News

Toe in a glass of whisky

Just when you think that Brooklyn is on the cutting edge of the fancy drink scene, you realize that the really avant-garde things are happening in a tiny little town in the Yukon Territory of all places. The whole bar-as-speakeasy and bespoke cocktail movement might still be alive and well in Brooklyn, but there’s nothing really new about it, you know? There’s nothing about drinking a Vieux Carré at Weatherup that’s really so adventurous. Because, as satisfying as the perfectly mixed Manhattan is, it still doesn’t contain a pickled and severed human body part.

Now, that’s what I call an artisanal ingredient.

The Wall Street Journal reports on a little bar—the Sourdough Saloon—in Dawson City, Yukon Territory where patrons partake in a drink called The Sourtoe. The Sourtoe is so singular a beverage that those who imbibe it are prone to saying things like, “this is the coolest thing I’ve ever done.” Or “I got it in my mouth a little.”

“It” is a human toe. The legend behind the Sourtoe is as colorful as you would hope. In 1973, the drink’s creator, one Captain Dick “River Rat” Stevenson, “found a severed big toe preserved in a pickle jar in a cabin outside of town.” Instead of tossing the toe aside as someone without much imagination would have done, Captain Dick came up with the rules of the Sourtoe, “take a beer glass full of champagne, drop in the toe, tip the glass back…and the toe must touch the lips.”