Established in 1973, the Sourtoe Cocktail has become a time-honoured tradition in Dawson City. To date, the club has over 100,000 members, hailing from every corner of the world.
How Do I Become a Member?
Step 1 – Come down to the Sourdough Saloon and ask for Captain River Rat
Step 2 – Purchase a shot (most club members prefer Yukon Jack)
Step 3 – Pledge the ‘Sourtoe Oath’
Step 4 – Watch as a (genuine) dehydrated toe is dropped in your drink
Step 5 – Drink your Sourtoe Cocktail
Be sure to remember the most important rule: “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but your lips have gotta touch the toe”
Sourtoe Cocktail Recipe:
- 1 ounce (minimum) of alcohol
- 1 dehydrated toe
- garnish with courage
The legend of the first “sourtoe” dates back to the 1920’s and features a feisty rum-runner named Louie Linken and his brother Otto. During one of their cross-border deliveries, they ran into an awful blizzard. In an effort to help direct his dog team, Louie stepped off the sled and into some icy overflow—soaking his foot thoroughly.
Fearing that the police were on their trail, they continued on their journey. Unfortunately, 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 was established and the rules developed. Since its inception, the club has acquired (by donation) over 10 toes.