A Stolen Human Toe Used In Canada Bar's Signature Cocktail Has Been Returned

Image via Downtown Hotel/Facebook

So there’s this bar in Dawson City, Canada, right? It’s called the Sourdough Saloon. It’s attached to the Downtown Hotel and a fine-looking place to grab a few drinks, but it’s got one in particular that’s made it famous: The Sourtoe Cocktail, which is just a shot of whiskey garnished with a mummified human toe. Like how sometimes you put olives in a martini, except it’s the toe of a human. Cool? OK, moving on.

So someone—probably a drunk someone—stole the toe last week, which is hard to imagine because you’d think that all eyes would be vigilantly trained on the toe whenever it makes an appearance, right? And that it would be rebottled or holstered or whatever immediately following the shot, since, as the bar points out, the toes are pretty hard to come by. I’m not victim-blaming or anything, I just can’t see why anyone would turn their attention to anything else as long as the toe was out; it’d be like spotting a rare bird in the wild and then just returning to Instagram before it even flew away.


Needless to say, the bar’s proprietors were pissed—so pissed they issued a press release. (The dateline mistakenly says “July,” that’s how mad they were.)

As Lee told NPR, the bar has had other toes throughout the years (one was mailed along with a note that read “Don’t wear open-toe sandals while mowing the lawn.”), but currently, no big toes are in stock. Instead, they’ve had to work with smaller backup toes, and like, what’s even the point, right?

So it is with GREAT relief that I bring you news that the toe has been returned. From Royal Canadian Mounted Police:

On Tuesday afternoon, June 20th, Dawson City RCMP received a phone call from the alleged suspect, stating that he had placed the toe in the mail, addressed to the Downtown Hotel. The man then called the Downtown Hotel and provided the same message to staff, along with a verbal apology.

Earlier today, on Thursday, June 22nd, the expected package was received. To ensure the package was safe to open, it was brought to Corporal Jeff Myke from Dawson City RCMP for him to open.

Located inside the package was an apology letter, as well as the stolen toe.

At the time that the package was opened, the toe was believed to be in good condition.


So where does this leave us? Is the toe gonna be tested for diseases first or are we just tossing it straight back in the whiskey? Yukon Health mandates that the toe may only be served in 80-proof alcohol, so good enough? Also, I guess anyone who willingly puts their mouth on the toe probably doesn’t care where it’s been. Like, the deal breaker isn’t going to be that someone maybe put it up their butt or left it outside in the rain, right?

If you’re wondering why anyone would do this in the first place, Lee offered NPR this succinct explanation:

Dawson City is a very unique town anywhere in the world. And it’s a frontier town. People in frontier towns do crazy things, especially if you stay the winter because your brain is probably half frozen.


By the way, here’s the toe.


Oh my god the nail is still there, I am going to throw up forever.

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