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The Sour Toe Cocktail Club

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Drink it fast or drink it slow, your lips must touch the toe – Recited before entry into the club

I carry only a few things in my wallet: a credit card, my drivers license and some of my frequent flyer cards. There is one other thing I carry with me. Something that I’m extremely proud of and which puts me in an elite group of people, so small that less than 0.0005% of the world’s population can claim membership.

That thing is my laminated membership card in the Sour Toe Cocktail Club.

To give you an idea how exclusive membership in this club is, here is a list of people who are NOT members:

  • President Barack Obama
  • Pope Benedict XVI
  • Bill Gates
  • Queen Elizabeth II
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Nelson Mandela
  • The Dalai Lama

The list goes on and on…

Membership in this august, elite fraternity is not for everyone. Many hear the call, but few can pass the rigors which membership demands.

For those who wish membership, this is what you must do:

First, you must traverse to the northlands of the Yukon Territory in Canada. Once here, you must find your way to the City of Dawson, situated just below the Arctic Circle.

Second, you must enter the gates of the Downtown Hotel. Upon entering the establishment, you must have $5 in Canadian currency. You must order a cocktail with thy money.

Third, upon serving of the beverage, a severed human toe will placed in the drink.

Finally, you must consume the drink with the toe touching your lips.


Yes, it is a real honest to God human toe

Yes, it is a real honest to God human toe

Since my admission into the club, I’ve proudly shown my card to many people. I’ve gotten many of the same questions:

Q: Where did they get the toe from?

A: There have been 8 toes in the history of the club. The history of each toe is outlined here. They have been donated by people over the years.

Q: Isn’t that unsanitary?

A: The toe is stored in salt and when it isn’t in salt it is in alcohol. It is probably one of the least bacteria ridden things you’ll ever let touch your lips.

Q: That’s disgusting!

A: That is not a question

One day if you should venture so far north, perhaps you too can join this elite body. On that day, we shall become brothers and sisters in the Sour Toe Cocktail Club!

  • 22 Comments... What's your take?

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Comments

  1. Duane says:

    My most prized posession is the gold colored certificate they gave me when I finished my Sour Toe Coctail! (also a photo of me doing the deed) I had the traditional coctail with Yukon Jack and the toe dipped in salt. Did it while on a tour of Alaska and the Yukon. Only three of our group of 48 had the nerve!We were looked upon as heroes for the rest of the trip.

  2. Erik Blair says:

    Aloha Gary, had lunch with you on your last visit to Maui. Thanks for adding this club to my bucket list!
    Let me know if you’re gonna be back on Maui for our specialty drink, the Mai Tai (no shoes, no shirt and no toe required)

  3. Don Faust says:

    That’s awesome! Do they serve cheese with those toes?

  4. Donald says:

    This has been on my travel bucket list for years.

  5. Should I feel sick or amazed! Definitely want to join and might add it to the bucket list.

  6. Any drink will do, although I wouldn’t recommend water…you might actually taste the toe flavor! I joined with Sprite in the summer of 2001, and am a proud member! I used to drive bus tours throughout Alaska and the Yukon, and strongly encouraged my passengers to join the club, too! Many are called, but few are chosen! :-)

  7. Kirsten says:

    I’ve never had a desire to venture that far north in Canada, this might change my mind. Seems almost more adventurous than skydiving or bungee jumping – albeit, in a different way.

  8. Kevin says:

    I got to hand it toe you, that’s pretty funny. Was the nail trimmed at least? And is it Kosher and Halal?

  9. Congratulations, you must be so proud! I have actually seen this on a television programme, maybe Globetrekker or something like that. So I was quite surprised to ‘meet’ someone in this unique club! Very, very impressed…
    :)

  10. Rachel says:

    The first time I heard about this was when Scott, Justin and Andre did this on Departures. You are definitely brave! The finger is not for everyone!

  11. That actually reminds me of the time I saw Saint Teresa’s little finger in Avila in Spain.

  12. Bethany says:

    Hands down – most awesome thing I’ve read today. Thank you Gary for sharing this awesome, strange Canadian tale and your adventure drinking it! So what I really need to know is how were a couple of the other toes actually swallowed?! Wow. I mean it’s not like swallowing a bug – it’s a whole toe!!!

  13. Shannon M says:

    To be honest, I wouldn’t mind the journey o GET to the club, but I wouldn’t dare JOIN the club; the toe is off-putting I wouldn’t want that in ANY of my drinks.

    But the worst part? I don’t drink alcoholic beverages (at least not cocktails) but I like Mike’s Hard Lemonade which doesn’t qualify

  14. That IS disgusting! Haha.

  15. ciber71 says:

    leider zu weit weg, sonst waere ich auch schon mitglied!

  16. Absolutely wonderful!
    Barring acts of “God” and pedestrian/bus accidents I have many years left on this earth. Alas, I shall join this club of upstanding individuals before my demise!
    You deserve a hearty congratulations fine sir.

  17. Mary Jo says:

    Is a particular cocktail required? Or just any cocktail with the toe place in it?

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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