Friday, June 23, 2017

CANADIAN FACTS #6 -There's a DRINK Served Up in the YUKON Garnished with a DEHYDRATED TOE

The origins of the recipe dates back to the 1920s prohibition era when, according to legend, a Dawson City rum-runner named Louie Linken and his brother Otto, ran into an awful blizzard during one of their cross-border deliveries. In an effort to help direct his dog team, Louie stepped off the sled and into some icy overflow - soaking his foot thoroughly.

The boys continued on their trail, fearing the police were on their trail and subsequently, the prolonged exposure to the cold caused Louie’s big toe to be frozen solid.  To prevent gangrene, the faithful Otto performed the amputation using a woodcutting axe (and some overproof rum for anesthesia).  To commemorate this moment, the brothers preserved the toe in a jar of alcohol.

Years later, while cleaning out an abandoned cabin, the toe was discovered by Captain Dick Stevenson.  After conferring with friends, the Sourtoe Cocktail Club, (now boasting over 100,000 members), was established and the rules developed.  Since its inception, the club has acquired (by donation) over 10 toes.

The original toe lasted seven more years after it was discovered. 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.”

As for the rest, one was given after an amputation due to an inoperable corn, another due to diabetes, another from a victim of frostbite (which was also accidentally swallowed), one from an anonymous donor (which was later stolen by a hunter); one Yukon old-timer donated two!, (in return for some free booze for his nurses) and the eight toe arrived in a jar of alcohol with the message, “Don’t wear open-toe sandals while mowing the lawn.”

On August 24th, 2013, a man ordered a Sourtoe shot, swallowed it, paid the $500 fine, and promptly exited the saloon. (The replacement toe was said to be from a guy named "Fun Gus." )

As a result of this first-and-only deliberate swallowing, the fine was increased to $2,500.

Try out the world famous “Sourtoe Cocktail” in the Sourdough Saloon at the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City.

Source(s): dawsoncity | atlasobscura | Fact created and inspired by news article, 'Severed toe used in famous Yukon cocktail returned with an apology'

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