Cocktail Made With Human Frozen Toe

April 12, 2018

 The sourtoe cocktail.


 A tumbler filled with a spirit of some kind, usually whisky.

Doesn’t sound wildly interesting. There’s one additional, non-standard ingredient.

 A mummified toe.

Sourdough Saloonin Dawson City.

Where is Dawson City? In Yukon territory, Canada.

 How did the tradition start? In the 1920s, miners Otto and Louie Liken did some rum smuggling on the side. On one run, while being pursued by mounties, one of the brothers – there is lively argument over which – got frostbite in a toe. To stop it becoming gangrenous, the other brother hacked – or shot – it off. They kept the trophy in their shack, where it was discovered 50 years later by an entrepreneur. In 1973, he developed the drinking ritual to prove you were a “true Yukoner”.

Any rules? “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but the lips must touch the toe.” You get a certificate if you follow the rule; 100,000 people have qualified.

Is the original toe still in use? Sadly not. In 1980, it was swallowed by a local miner who was trying to beat the sourtoe record. On his 13th cocktail, his chair tipped backwards and he swallowed it. The digit was never found.