A bar manager in Canada is hoping to nail the culprit who stole a mummified toe used in their signature cocktail.

The Downtown hotel in Dawson City, Yukon, offers a unique drink called the Sourtoe Cocktail. Any drink can be used in the concoction, but the special ingredient is a a shrivelled black human toe.

Those who touch the gnarled digit with their lips as they drink are awarded a certificate, according to Daily Telegraph.

One customer tried the signature drink on Saturday, swallowing the drink before making off with the toe.

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"We are furious," Terry Lee, the hotel's Toe Captain, said in a statement.

"This guy asked to do the toe after the 9-11 p.m. Toe Time hours and one of the new staff served it to him. And this is how he pays her back? What a low life."

The cocktail dates back to 1973 when a toe believed to belong to a prohibition-era rum runner was found in a cabin by boat captain Dick Stevenson, prompting him to start the "Sourtoe Cocktail Club."

The toe was originally placed in a beer glass full of champagne but these days any drink can be used.

One rule has not changed though. "You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow - but the lips have gotta touch the toe", the Downtown Hotel website states.

The stolen toe was recent donation from a man who had to have it surgically removed. Having been cured in salt for six months, the bar had only just started using it in its cocktail.

"This was our new toe, and it was a really good one," manager Geri Coulbourne told CBC News. "We just started using it this weekend."

The hotel has lost toes in the past and in 2013 it increased the fine for swallowing or stealing one to $2,500. The rise was introduced after a tourist swallowed the toe and left the then-$500 fine on the table.

The latest thief faces a fine unless he returns the digit intact. Given the culprit left behind his certificate, they have his name so are hopeful he will toe the line.