Mummified sour toe stolen in Dawson City, Yukon

News Jun 21, 2017

DAWSON CITY, Yukon — A mummified human toe that is the key ingredient in a strange drinking ritual in Dawson City has been stolen.

RCMP are searching for the suspects as well as the misappropriated member.

The shrivelled, brown toe vanished Saturday after being added to an infamous sourtoe cocktail served by the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Yukon.

Hotel manager Geri Colbourne says a couple came in late that night and requested the unique drink but the waitress was called away after pouring two shots. The toe was gone when she returned.

The shrivelled brown toe is included in a shot of alcohol and, according to tradition, drinkers must allow it to touch their lips in order to join the Sourtoe Cocktail Club.

There are spares, Colbourne said, but the donated toes can be difficult to come by.

"We get people from all over the world coming here wanting to do the toe and it's well known everywhere and it's such a huge thing for Dawson City and for the Downtown Hotel," Colbourne said. "Why would someone want to ruin that, you know? It just makes no sense to me at all."

RCMP Cpl. Jeff Myke says a theft investigation is underway, adding the toe represents a tradition that has been an important part of community history

"It's not every day that we investigate incidents like this, but the sourtoe represents a Dawson City tradition that has been an important part of the history here for many years," he added.

Paul Robitaille, manager of the Klondike Visitors Association, said reactions to the drink vary wildly.

"There are strange things done in the midnight sun and the sourtoe is one of those things," said Robitaille, who previously worked as a "captain" serving the sourtoe cocktail.

"You get 85-year-old little old ladies that come in and do it without blinking an eye, and then you get macho men who cringe and can't do it," he said. "It's a funny thing to see how people react to a sourtoe."

When not sitting in a shot glass, the toe rests on a bed of salt, which helps to keep it mummified. Despite the drink's name, the petrified appendage doesn't really add a unique taste, Robitaille said.

"Generally, it almost makes a shot stronger because, you've got to think, it's been in thousands of shots, right? So it's kind of soaking up all the booze from the one before it and then it is sitting in the salt so it just adds a little bit of the saltiness to it. It's not a repulsive taste at all."

Once it's been used many, many times, a toe is retired and a new one is introduced into the rotation, explained Robitaille, who couldn't put a precise figure on the number of times a single toe may be used.

"That's just a judgement call," he said.

This isn't the first time a toe has gone missing, Robitaille said, adding several were swallowed when smaller digits, such as pinky toes, were used in the cocktails back in the 1990s.

The hotel is offering a reward for the toe's safe return and RCMP are searching for the suspects, as well as the misappropriated member. (The Canadian Press, CKRW)

By The Canadian Press

Mummified sour toe stolen in Dawson City, Yukon

News Jun 21, 2017

DAWSON CITY, Yukon — A mummified human toe that is the key ingredient in a strange drinking ritual in Dawson City has been stolen.

RCMP are searching for the suspects as well as the misappropriated member.

The shrivelled, brown toe vanished Saturday after being added to an infamous sourtoe cocktail served by the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Yukon.

Hotel manager Geri Colbourne says a couple came in late that night and requested the unique drink but the waitress was called away after pouring two shots. The toe was gone when she returned.

The shrivelled brown toe is included in a shot of alcohol and, according to tradition, drinkers must allow it to touch their lips in order to join the Sourtoe Cocktail Club.

There are spares, Colbourne said, but the donated toes can be difficult to come by.

"We get people from all over the world coming here wanting to do the toe and it's well known everywhere and it's such a huge thing for Dawson City and for the Downtown Hotel," Colbourne said. "Why would someone want to ruin that, you know? It just makes no sense to me at all."

RCMP Cpl. Jeff Myke says a theft investigation is underway, adding the toe represents a tradition that has been an important part of community history

"It's not every day that we investigate incidents like this, but the sourtoe represents a Dawson City tradition that has been an important part of the history here for many years," he added.

Paul Robitaille, manager of the Klondike Visitors Association, said reactions to the drink vary wildly.

"There are strange things done in the midnight sun and the sourtoe is one of those things," said Robitaille, who previously worked as a "captain" serving the sourtoe cocktail.

"You get 85-year-old little old ladies that come in and do it without blinking an eye, and then you get macho men who cringe and can't do it," he said. "It's a funny thing to see how people react to a sourtoe."

When not sitting in a shot glass, the toe rests on a bed of salt, which helps to keep it mummified. Despite the drink's name, the petrified appendage doesn't really add a unique taste, Robitaille said.

"Generally, it almost makes a shot stronger because, you've got to think, it's been in thousands of shots, right? So it's kind of soaking up all the booze from the one before it and then it is sitting in the salt so it just adds a little bit of the saltiness to it. It's not a repulsive taste at all."

Once it's been used many, many times, a toe is retired and a new one is introduced into the rotation, explained Robitaille, who couldn't put a precise figure on the number of times a single toe may be used.

"That's just a judgement call," he said.

This isn't the first time a toe has gone missing, Robitaille said, adding several were swallowed when smaller digits, such as pinky toes, were used in the cocktails back in the 1990s.

The hotel is offering a reward for the toe's safe return and RCMP are searching for the suspects, as well as the misappropriated member. (The Canadian Press, CKRW)

By The Canadian Press

Mummified sour toe stolen in Dawson City, Yukon

News Jun 21, 2017

DAWSON CITY, Yukon — A mummified human toe that is the key ingredient in a strange drinking ritual in Dawson City has been stolen.

RCMP are searching for the suspects as well as the misappropriated member.

The shrivelled, brown toe vanished Saturday after being added to an infamous sourtoe cocktail served by the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Yukon.

Hotel manager Geri Colbourne says a couple came in late that night and requested the unique drink but the waitress was called away after pouring two shots. The toe was gone when she returned.

The shrivelled brown toe is included in a shot of alcohol and, according to tradition, drinkers must allow it to touch their lips in order to join the Sourtoe Cocktail Club.

There are spares, Colbourne said, but the donated toes can be difficult to come by.

"We get people from all over the world coming here wanting to do the toe and it's well known everywhere and it's such a huge thing for Dawson City and for the Downtown Hotel," Colbourne said. "Why would someone want to ruin that, you know? It just makes no sense to me at all."

RCMP Cpl. Jeff Myke says a theft investigation is underway, adding the toe represents a tradition that has been an important part of community history

"It's not every day that we investigate incidents like this, but the sourtoe represents a Dawson City tradition that has been an important part of the history here for many years," he added.

Paul Robitaille, manager of the Klondike Visitors Association, said reactions to the drink vary wildly.

"There are strange things done in the midnight sun and the sourtoe is one of those things," said Robitaille, who previously worked as a "captain" serving the sourtoe cocktail.

"You get 85-year-old little old ladies that come in and do it without blinking an eye, and then you get macho men who cringe and can't do it," he said. "It's a funny thing to see how people react to a sourtoe."

When not sitting in a shot glass, the toe rests on a bed of salt, which helps to keep it mummified. Despite the drink's name, the petrified appendage doesn't really add a unique taste, Robitaille said.

"Generally, it almost makes a shot stronger because, you've got to think, it's been in thousands of shots, right? So it's kind of soaking up all the booze from the one before it and then it is sitting in the salt so it just adds a little bit of the saltiness to it. It's not a repulsive taste at all."

Once it's been used many, many times, a toe is retired and a new one is introduced into the rotation, explained Robitaille, who couldn't put a precise figure on the number of times a single toe may be used.

"That's just a judgement call," he said.

This isn't the first time a toe has gone missing, Robitaille said, adding several were swallowed when smaller digits, such as pinky toes, were used in the cocktails back in the 1990s.

The hotel is offering a reward for the toe's safe return and RCMP are searching for the suspects, as well as the misappropriated member. (The Canadian Press, CKRW)

By The Canadian Press