Man Stole Severed Toe Served in Specialty Cocktail, Bar Says

A hotel in Canada's Yukon Territory wants to conduct a manhunt for a person who stole a human toe.

And not just any toe - the gnarled digit is the essential ingredient in the famous "Sourtoe Cocktail" at the Downtown Hotel.

"We are furious", said Terry Lee of the hotel. "Toes are very hard to come by".

According to a news release on Monday, the hotel intends to fine and charge the thief "unless the Toe is returned safe".

According to the Vancouver Sun, the toe went missing Saturday night, after a patron threatened to steal it and apparently made good on his word.

In 2013, an American customer known only as 'Josh from New Orleans' came to the bar with an apparent hidden agenda, where he chugged his entire "Sourtoe Cocktail" and promptly slapped the $500 fine on the table. The first one - the one that inspired the original Sourtoe Cocktail - was a toe from the prohibition era. A bar manager told the CBC that it was a newer toe. "We just started using it this weekend", she said. The toe was then cured for six months in salt. And this is how he pays her back? "What a low life", Lee said. "We fortunately have a couple of back up toes, but we really need this one back". But anyone successfully touching that toe to their lips not only gets bragging rights but a commemorative certificate, joining the estimated 60,000 people already in the "Sourtoe Cocktail Club".

The man also reportedly boasted about wanting to steal the toe earlier in the evening, and left behind a certificate - complete with his name - that he received for finishing the 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.

The back-up toes are what Lee refers to as "hammer toes", meaning they are the four remaining toes from that particular foot.

  • Joanne Flowers