There's no nice way to put it, so we'll just get to the details, straight from the horse's mouth:
The original rules were that the toe must be placed in a beer glass full of champagne, and that the toe must touch the drinker's lips during the consumption of the alcohol before he or she can claim to be a true Sourtoer. The rules have changed in the past twenty-seven years. The Sourtoe can be had with any drink now (even ones that aren't alcoholic), but one rule remains the same. The drinker's lips must touch the toe. You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow-- But the lips have gotta touch the toe. The Sourtoes are actual human toes that have been dehydrated and preserved in salt. Swallowing one is not suggested.
Now, you're not supposed to swallow the toe, but one man did last summer and it cost him $500, which is the penalty due to the trouble the bar has to go through to replace it. As of now, the Downtown Hotel is looking for people to donate toes so that the tradition can continue, and according to reports, it has upped the penalty for toe swallowing to $2500.
This is clearly a case of doing something more for the story than the actual enjoyment, but if you want to join the club, head over to the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Yukon. The shot costs $10 and you'll get a certificate to go along with whatever satisfaction comes from nearly drinking a dehydrated toe. Us? Well, since we believe in good stories, we promise to give it a go on our next jaunt through the Yukon. Apparently, for a recent challenger, it wasn't that bad.
"The whiskey was the only thing I could taste but the toe was like a leathery piece of jerky with a toenail attached to it," he said. Bottoms up!
[Photos: Exclaim/Odd Culture]