Yukon hotel robbed of mummified human toe it used to make cocktails, RCMP searching for the greedy fingers

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The RCMP are on the lookout for a man who stole a mummified human toe from a hotel bar in the Yukon, in a story that doesn’t require trying to be clever because a guy stole a mummified human toe.

The Sourdough Saloon at Dawson City’s Downtown Hotel is famous for its Sourtoe Cocktail, which involves downing a shot of whiskey with the preserved toe dropped in it until it touches the lips of the drinker.

“We are furious,” said Terry Lee, who holds the title of Downtown Hotel Toe Captain and oversees the cocktail service, in a statement. “This guy asked to do the Toe after the 9 to 11 p.m. toe time hours and one of the new staff served it to him to be nice – and this is how he pays her back. What a low life.”

The Saloon said the man who stole the toe is from Quebec, had a French accent and bragged that he might steal it before he took his drink.

The cocktail’s origins are said to date back to 1973, when local Dick Stevenson discovered a jar containing the amputated toe of a rum runner named Louie Liken, who had it removed after a bout of frostbite in the 1920s. Liken had preserved his toe in a jar of alcohol in his cabin.

The Sourtoe cocktail ad.

Downtown Hotel

Stevenson is said to have brought the toe to the Sourdough Saloon, where he would put it in the glasses of patrons and encourage them to imbibe on a dare. Those who took the drink became members of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club.

The hotel lost the original toe after seven years, when according to the Sourtoe Cocktail Club, “In July 1980, a miner named Garry Younger was trying for the Sourtoe record. On his thirteenth glass of Sourtoe champagne, his chair tipped over backwards, and he swallowed the toe. Sadly, Toe #1 was not recovered.”

Another toe was lost in 2013 when a man deliberately swallowed it, but agreed to pay a $500 fine — that penalty has since been increased to $2,500, which the Sourdough Saloon said it intends to fine the patron with sticky fingers who ran off this week.

The saloon also said that the thief left behind his copy of a certificate awarded to those who join the Sourtoe Cocktail club, which bears his name. Police have that information and are investigating.

“Toes are very hard to come by,” added Lee. “And stunts like this adversely affect the whole community, not just the Downtown Hotel. We fortunately have a couple back-up toes but we really need this one back.”

Those with information about the missing toe are encouraged to contact Dawson City RCMP at 1-867-993-2677.

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