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Capt. Dick Stevenson, legendary Sourtoe Cocktail founder, dies in Whitehorse

A dehydrated human toe that is used in the Sourtoe Cocktail rests on a bed of salt at the Downtown Hotel, before being dropped in a shot of whisky for a customer, in Dawson City, Yukon, in Dawson City, Yukon, on Sunday, July 1, 2018. The founder of the legendary Sourtoe Cocktail, a shot of Yukon whisky poured over a pickled human big toe, has poured his last drink. Dick Stevenson, the former Dawson City, Yukon bartender known worldwide as Captain Dick, has died. He was 89. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

DAWSON CITY, Yukon — The founder of the legendary Sourtoe Cocktail, a shot of Yukon whisky poured over a pickled human big toe, has poured his last drink.

Dick Stevenson, the former Dawson City, Yukon bartender known worldwide as Captain Dick, has died. He was 89.

Stephen Lancaster, manager of the Dawson Hotel, where the Sourtoe Cocktail tradition continues, says patrons at the Sourdough Saloon and members of the community are deeply saddened by Stevenson’s passing Thursday.

Lancaster says the saloon has records of more than 93,000 brave customers who are members of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club, whose motto states: “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but your lips must touch the toe.”

Stevenson came up with the drink idea in 1973 after finding a frost-bitten human toe preserved in a jar in a cabin he purchased.

Lancaster says the Sourtoe Cocktail tradition will continue and Stevenson will be in the mix because his will asks his two big toes be preserved for future drinks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2019.

The Canadian Press