In a mining town in northern Canada, an alcoholic beverage exists, which is aptly known as the “Sourtoe Cocktail”.
The menu item, being less of a cocktail and more of a shooter, has only two ingredients, whiskey and… you guessed it, a mummified human toe.
In what seems to be a set of absolutely true events, the human toe was recently stolen by a man from Quebec, likely for notoriety amongst his peers, but also quite possibly for a number of other sinister and horrifying reasons.
Legend has it, a ‘rumrunner’ lost his toe to frostbite in the 1920’s while transporting barrels of booze to Alaska during the prohibition; he then preserved it in alcohol and left it in a Cabin where it was discovered some 50 years later.
No one knows why the unnamed rumrunner would have attempted to preserve the toe, as Replantation – the medical term for limb reattachment – wasn’t a thing until the 1960’s.
Luckily for the Sourdough Saloon, a questionable character by the name of Captain Dick Stevenson discovered the toe in the 70’s while cleaning out an old mining cabin. Bringing it back to town, he used the toe to concoct the “Sourtoe Cocktail”, and created what could be the first ever drinking game; daring those brave enough to take a sip.
The case of the missing toe, was for obvious reasons, international news. In Canada, a nationwide police hunt was underway last week, while the bar itself was offering a reward for the safe return of the stolen toe.
Just four days into the investigation, with pressure mounting, the criminal-mastermind, sensing he may have one foot in the grave, mailed the toe back to the Sourdough Saloon, along with a handwritten apology.
Unsurprisingly, the bar’s “toe captain,” Terry Lee, had told the Global News that they were furious as “toes are very hard to come by.” However, it did come to light that they have several mummified toes making the rounds at any given time.
In fact, the likelihood of the stolen toe being that of the unnamed rumrunner from the 20’s is slim to none, putting a real dampener on the wow-factor of the story.
Although, the knowledge that the toe has been replaced several times, once because it was accidentally swallowed by a patron, does bolster its overall appeal.
Unlike most stories in the news this one ends on a happy note for all involved, except of course for those who have donated their toes.
I think we can all agree that the “Sourtoe Cocktail” would be well suited to a number of establishments in the Yarra.
By Tiyana Matliovski