A Refreshing Drink Garnished With… A HUMAN TOE?!

Kung akala mo, wala nang hihigit pa sa pagkacreepy ng Gilpin’s Family Whisky, stop right there. You probably haven’t heard of the Sourtoe Cocktail yet.

The Sourtoe Cocktail has been haunting people in Dawson city since 1973. And no, we’re not bluffing. It really is a human toe at the bottom of that drink.

Photo by LadyHobo

Dehydrated and salted to be preserved, the toe is used as a garnish for whatever drink it is you order.


They said that the original toe belonged to someone named Louie Liken who had it amputated after getting frostbit. For some reason, he decided to keep it in a jar of alcohol that ended up being found by someone called Dick Stevenson. Stevenson brought it with him to a saloon where he plunked it into the drinks of many unfortunate souls as a test of bravery.

The toe only lasted for seven years. The reason? A young man tried to break a Sourtoe record and ended up swallowing the toe. It was never recovered. Sad no?

Fortunately for the bar and unfortunately for its more sensitive patrons, several more toes were donated to continue the tradition.

Each toe had its own disturbing backstory.

The second toe was amputated because of a growth of corn that was impossibly to remove.

The third toe was lost to someone who suffered from frostbite and was lost after being accidentally swallowed by a customer.

The fourth toe was an anonymous donations that was later taken by a thief.

The fifth and sixth toes were both from a man who requested free drinks for his nurses.

The seventh toe was given anonymously and simply bore a message suggesting that it was accidentally cut off while the owner was mowing the lawn.

In 2013, new rules were enforced after a man deliberately swallowed the toe that was served to him

In 2017, the toe was stolen and later mailed back to the bar.

Phew. Kung akala niyo, wild na ang drinks with a preserved human toe, mas wild pala ang history nito.

And for the past 27 years, marami mang nagbagong recipes and rules, one thing remains the same, absolute and unbroken.

You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow—but the lips have gotta touch the toe.

By Kat Cabasan

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