Celine Gerakin, right, listens to “Toe Captain” Sue Taylor before drinking the Sourtoe Cocktail, a drink containing a dehydrated human toe, in Dawson City, Yukon, in 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

‘Toe-nation’ eagerly received for Yukon’s Sourtoe Cocktail

Donor’s toes were amputated after he suffered frostbite during the Yukon Arctic Ultra race

A donation that an expert in Yukon happily describes as disgusting has arrived in Whitehorse, destined to become the centrepiece of a bizarre cocktail.

The frostbitten big toe of former British Marine Nick Griffiths now belongs to the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City after Griffiths donated the digit to the Sourtoe Cocktail collection.

The Bolton, England resident originally planned to donate three toes amputated in March 2018 after he suffered frostbite during the Yukon Arctic Ultra, a 483-kilometre race that follows the Yukon Quest trail.

Griffiths was in a Whitehorse hospital when he learned about the Sourtoe Cocktail from a nurse who had visited Dawson City, and he joined the exclusive sourtoe club by drinking a shot of whisky with a mummified human toe in it.

Hotel general manager Adam Gerle says Griffiths’s big toe arrived by mail from England last week, well preserved in medical grade alcohol.

It’s now being mummified in rock salt in preparation for use in the cocktail, which has been served since 1973.

READ MORE: Dawson City’s stolen ‘sour toe’ returned

The hotel couldn’t be happier with what Gerle calls the “toe-nation,” saying in a statement that big toes are “hard to come by,” and will help ensure the sourtoe tradition continues.

Terry Lee, Toe Master at the Downtown Hotel said it will take about six weeks to mummify the toe in salt before it can be added to a cocktail.

“We have been waiting for a new big toe for a while so this is exciting news indeed,” Lee said in the statement.

“The big toes are the most disgusting and popular with the customers.”

Griffiths’s toes were amputated in England after he returned home from the 2018 race, but before the surgery he emailed the hotel and received an enthusiastic response to his inquiry about the donation.

“They wrote back and said they’d really love to have them and I would forever by immortalized in their hall of fame if I did,” Griffiths said at the time.

Gerle stands by that promise: “It’s also extra special coming from Nick and we look forward to welcoming him to Dawson City where he can claim the rare distinction of shooting his own toe.”

“The Downtown Hotel plans to bring Griffiths up later this summer after the toe is preserved and ready to go. They will foot the bill of course,” the hotel statement said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Rec users are not entitled to access to range

DND land is excluded from local control, says letter writer

Foot ferry service in Nanaimo won’t happen this summer

Island Ferries says it still needs to secure funding

Goalie gear found in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Mounties want to return goalie gear to owner

Thieves steal tents meant for Nanaimo school’s Grade 7 camping trip

Businesses, staff and parents ensure trip goes on

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Strengthening privacy laws should be an election issue

In other places, political parties are held to the highest standards of openness, says letter writer

Timbermen beat league’s first-place team

Nanaimo’s senior A lacrosse team handles Maple Ridge Burrards 11-6

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Suggested street names bizarre

Letter writer would be mortified to live on any of Lantzville councillor’s bizarrely named streets

Complex with more than 200 apartments pitched for Nanaimo’s south end

Construction planned for next spring on Junction Avenue in Chase River

Nanaimo teachers’ union president worries new deal could see job losses

Teachers’ federation and Ministry of Education negotiating with contract expiring at month’s end

Historian recalls Nanaimo’s drunken disorder back in 1890

Imagine the seamen’s surprise when they found themselves inside a brewery, writes columnist

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Most Read