A British adventurer plans to donate the toe he lost to frostbite to the bar at the Downtown Hotel in northern Canada. Located in Dawson City, the Downtown Hotel is famous for its unique Sourtoe Cocktail.
If you’re wondering what an amputated toe has to do with a cocktail, you’re not alone. The infamous Sourtoe Cocktail is a glass of booze – usually whiskey – with a mummified human toe floating in it. Those who choose to try the drink are officially inducted into the “Sourtoe Cocktail Club”.
According to bar manager Jonathan Klynkramer, the cocktail dates back to 1920 when rum-runners Louie and Otto Linken got caught in a blizzard. Louie’s big toe caught frostbite and had to be removed, and the brothers left it in a jar of alcohol. Years later, Captain Dick Stevenson found the toe and established the Sourtoe Cocktail Club along with the classic rule “you can drink it fast, you can drink it slow—but the lips have gotta touch the toe.”
Since being established in 1973, the club at the Downtown Hotel in Canada’s Yukon Territory has had more than 77,000 members.
However, the drink doesn’t currently use Louie Linken’s toe, having received numerous toes over the years by donation. The current donor, Nick Griffiths was a competitor in the 300-mile Yukon Arctic Ultra race that took place earlier this year. After suffering frostbite and losing some of his toes, he decided to give them to the Downtown Hotel.
While this may seem extremely bizarre, the hotel actually gets frequent calls about donations, though it’s difficult to tell if they are hoaxes. Jonathan Klynkramer maintains that those serious about becoming a part of this weird drink should get in touch via email.