Travel 'Can we have them?' Amputee donates frozen digits to Yukon bar for 'Sourtoe Cocktail'

20:51  06 april  2018
20:51  06 april  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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The appendage is the key ingredient in the Sourtoe Cocktail , the infamous specialty of the Downtown Hotel's bar in the Yukon town of This most recent toe was donated by someone who had to have it amputated If they ’re already handcuffed, the crew can follow them to jail and get them to sign there.

More toes made their way to Dawson City's Downtown Hotel, generously donated by frostbitten amputees or Yukon old-timers. Still, legends are alive and well in the Great White North, with the Sourtoe Cocktail one particularly tough act to swallow. You can join the Sourtoe Club every evening

a man wearing a red hat: Nick Griffiths suffered severe frostbite on his left foot while running the Yukon Arctic Ultra in February. Now he's 'recycling' his three amputated toes, by sending them back to Yukon.© Nick Griffiths Nick Griffiths suffered severe frostbite on his left foot while running the Yukon Arctic Ultra in February. Now he's 'recycling' his three amputated toes, by sending them back to Yukon.

If Nick Griffiths ever returns to Yukon, somebody might want to buy him a drink. But maybe not the one with his toe in it.

The British adventurer had three of his toes amputated this week, two months after they were irreparably injured by severe frostbite in Yukon.

Griffiths was competing in the long-distance backcountry Yukon Arctic Ultra race in February when he became one of several racers who ended up in hospital because of the severe cold.

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So began the latest episode in the saga of the Sourtoe Cocktail Dick Stevenson, a former Yukon riverboat captain, found a preserved toe in an abandoned cabin and decided to give it new life, several digits have gone The toes, we can only use them for four or five years and then they disintegrate.”

The Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Yukon , is currently seeking toes for its World Famous Sourtoe Cocktail . After the toes are donated , they will be sterilized in alcohol and stored in margarita salt until they can float on a fresh shot of whiskey, waiting to touch the lips of the bar ’s most daring

Now he's got his dismembered digits in little jars and he's promised them to Dawson City's Downtown Hotel, home of the infamous Sourtoe Cocktail.

The cocktail may be unusual but the recipe is simple — a shot of whisky with a real human digit bobbing in the glass.

"They basically said, 'Can we have them if you're not going to need them anymore?'" Griffiths said Thursday from his home in Bolton, England.

"It's sort of recycling taken to the extreme."

a glass of beer on a table: Dawson City's infamous 'Sourtoe Cocktail' — a shot of whiskey with a gnarled human digit bobbing in the glass.© Philippe Morin/CBC Dawson City's infamous 'Sourtoe Cocktail' — a shot of whiskey with a gnarled human digit bobbing in the glass.

The Downtown Hotel likes to keep a few mummified toes in reserve. Last year, a drunken customer stole a toe (later mailing it back with apologies), and in 2013, a patron famously gulped one down before slapping $500 on the table (the posted fine for swallowing a toe).

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RCMP in the Yukon city say the shrivelled, brown toe that was stolen last weekend has been returned to its rightful owner. The toe, which is used in the Downtown Hotel's popular " sourtoe cocktail ," had vanished on Saturday after being added to a drink at the hotel bar . RCMP say they received a call on

Take the sourtoe cocktail , a notorious drink that is served with a severed human toe in it. There's a certain person that is attracted to the Yukon 's wildest and most enigmatic town Dawson City. When he took his boots and socks off the big toe on his right foot was frozen solid.

The adventurer had his toes amputated on Wednesday. His doctors originally intended to let the dead toes fall off on their own, but decided this week to just go ahead and remove them before infection set in.

The Downtown Hotel like to keep a few mummified toes around.© CBC The Downtown Hotel like to keep a few mummified toes around.

"I've pretty much lost all of my big toe, and I've probably just over half of the next two. So I've got two little stumps there, they've managed to save," he said.

Griffiths said he spoke to the surgeon about keeping the detached digits.

"He kindly put them into three little jars, and they're in my bedside cabinet at the moment. So I just need to try and find a way of getting them to Canada," Griffiths said.

Heads up, Canada Post.

Back home, with few regrets

Griffiths isn't alone in his struggles. Another racer in this year's Yukon Arctic Ultra ended up with extreme frostbite on both his feet and hands , and faced possible amputations.

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SmartNewsKeeping you current. Famous Shriveled Toe Returned to Yukon Bar . The key ingredient in the Sourtoe Cocktail , the dried-out digit was mailed back on Thursday. He filled out his Sourtoe Cocktail Club certificate and left it behind, so they believe police will be able to track him down.

Patrons can only order a " sourtoe cocktail " between 9 and 11 p.m. nightly. Replacement toes are all donated , with the biggest donation being five toes donated by a miner who had his leg run over by a bulldozer. More about sourtoe cocktail , severed toe, dawson city bar , toe time, Yukon .

Despite his ordeal, Griffiths is in good spirits. He's recovering at home, and feeling grateful that he's not worse off. He's still got seven good toes.

Griffiths believes he just pushed himself too far in the race. Ultimately, he dropped out when he developed frostbite on his toes, fingers, nose and ears.

Racers set off from Whitehorse on Feb. 1 in the long-distance, backcountry Yukon Arctic Ultra race. Temperatures during the race were dropping below -40 C at night.© Philippe Morin/CBC Racers set off from Whitehorse on Feb. 1 in the long-distance, backcountry Yukon Arctic Ultra race. Temperatures during the race were dropping below -40 C at night.

It was only when he got to hospital in Whitehorse that he realized how badly he was injured. He credits the Whitehorse hospital — renowned for its treatment of frostbite — for leaving him with any toes.

His life in recent weeks has been difficult at times, but he said he's been well cared for by his wife and daughters.

"It's only when you get back and you realize how worrying a stressful it is for people back home when they get a phone call to say you're in hospital or you're in intensive care."

Amazingly, he has few regrets, and doesn't blame the race organizers for anything.

If there's any consolation, it's knowing that there'll always be a piece — or three — of him in Yukon.

"Maybe one day my grandkids will be doing a bit of travelling, and they can say, 'that's Granddad's big toe in that drink.'"

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