Many of us have perfected our lockdown sourdough starters, but in Canada’s Yukon, sourdough holds a special place in history.
Crucial to the survival of those seeking their fortunes during the Gold Rush, sourdough starter was kept close to the body during the winter to keep it alive. The name ‘sourdough’ evolved from that into a nickname used for someone who spent an entire winter north of the Arctic Circle.
But back in the day, surviving with all your appendages was not always a given.
Enter the Sourtoe Cocktail.
Enjoying a tipple at your local is not such a straightforward thing at the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City.
It is here that eccentric locals and brave visitors dare to qualify for the Sourtoe Cocktail Club.
The Toe Captain is an old-school mixologist and his favourite ingredient is the Sourtoe, an actual human toe that has been properly mummified, ready to be dropped into your cocktail.
The first rule of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club is to not swallow the toe. Do so and (aside from having dabbled in cannibalism) you’ll have to pay a $2,500 fine.
To qualify to join, your lips have to touch the toe. Most toes last about four years, and the hotel relies on anonymous donations and inheritance to remain in stock.
Watch the video as several brave souls pay the price of membership.
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