Terry Lee, “Toe Master” at the Downtown Hotel, holds a new severed toe that was donated by a former British marine.

British man donates severed toe to Yukon hotel

A hotel in Dawson City, Yukon has enthusiastically accepted an unconventional donation — a severed toe.

Nick Griffiths, a former British marine, recently donated a big toe he lost to frostbite to the Downtown Hotel so it could be used in a local cocktail.

The toe will join a collection of mummified toes used in the Sourtoe Cocktail. More than 86,000 brave patrons have consumed the drink, which involves a shot of whiskey with a toe in it, since it became a staple of the hotel’s menu in 1973.

The hotel’s general manager, Adam Gerle, said in a press release he couldn’t have been happier to receive the toe.

“They are very hard to come by these days and this generous toe-nation will help ensure the tradition
continues,” he said. “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!”

Griffiths lost three toes last year to frostbite when he competed in the Yukon Arctic Ultra — a grueling multi-day winter race that follows the Yukon Quest dogsled trail.

He learned about the Sourtoe Cocktail tradition while he was in the hospital and soon decided he would donate at least one of his toes to the cause.

The toe arrived at the hotel by mail last week with a handwritten note and is now being mummified in rock salt.

Griffiths’ severed big toe arrived at the hotel last week with a handwritten note. Photo/Downtown Hotel

Terry Lee, the hotel’s “Toe Master,” said the mummification process will take around six weeks and he expects it will go smoothly as the toe was preserved properly in grade alcohol.

“We have been waiting for a new big toe for a while so this is exciting news indeed,” he said. “The big toes are the most disgusting and popular with the customers.”

The hotel is hoping to host Griffiths later this summer so he can drink a Sourtoe Cocktail using his own toe.