Dawson City, Yukon – The Sourdough Saloon in the Downtown Hotel has been robbed of a mummified human toe.
In what has to be one of the oddest traditions around, the Sourdough Saloon is the proud home of the Sourtoe Cocktail. The cocktail consists of a shot of whiskey with a mummified human toe inside of it. No the toe in the cocktail is not that of a murder victim, the hotel asks for donations from people who have suffered frostbite and have had to endure amputations. There is a $2,500 fine for anyone who accidentally swallows the toe; we have to assume any ingestion of the toe must be a mistake by the drinker.
The bar serves the famous cocktail between the hours of 9 and 11 p.m only, although on the night of the theft a new staff member decided to oblige a tourist from Quebec and serve him the drink after hours. To repay her kindness, the man took the toe and ran off. Before taking the drink, the man had been bragging that he might steal the toe.
The RCMP are now on the lookout for the man who left behind a certificate given out by the Sourdough Saloon to those who complete the Sourtoe Cocktail. The certificate contained the man’s name.
According to the bar, the tradition started back in 1973, a man named Dick Stevenson found a jar containing the toe of Louie Liken who had been a rum runner back in the 1920’s. Liken had suffered frostbite and been forced to have his toe amputated, he then preserved his toe in a jar of alcohol. After finding the jar of toe and alcohol, Stevenson would take it to the Sourdough Saloon where he would pour it into glasses and dare patrons to drink it. To this day, anyone who completes the challenge is presented with a certificate stating that they have joined the Sourtoe Cocktail Club.
The Saloon has had several toes over the years, and though they do have a spare or two, they still want the stolen toe back. Amputated toes are hard to come by even up in the Yukon.