Time for a Drink: Burnt Fuselage

Time for a Drink: Burnt Fuselage

Let's start the weekend right--with a cocktail recipe from Paul Clarke (The Cocktail Chronicles). Need more than one? Hit up the archives. Cheers!

Some drinks have tragically unfortunate names. Consider the Monkey Gland--not only does it have a disturbing name, but it's got a vivid backstory as well. Get past your initial discomfort of sipping a cocktail named for a piece of simian anatomy, however, and you're in for a pleasant surprise.

The Burnt Fuselage falls into this same kind of category. The image of a flaming airplane plummeting to earth may not be something you want to summon when putting together a cocktail, but considering some of the drink names being bandied about nowadays, you should consider yourself pretty fortunate.

Back in 1927, when this recipe first appeared in a slim bar guide called Barflies and Cocktails (now fortunately back in print), the Burnt Fuselage was considered a "stiff steadier" for early aviator Chuck Kerwood. With a dose of cognac smoothed out with Grand Marnier, and the sweet edge taken off by adding dry vermouth, the Burnt Fuselage is pleasantly silky and fortifying--and, as the book notes, after working through one of these "your own fuselage will be warm, to say the least."

About the author: Paul Clarke blogs about cocktails at The Cocktail Chronicles and writes regularly on spirits and cocktails for Imbibe magazine. He lives in Seattle, where he works as a writer and magazine editor.


  • 1 ounce cognac
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1 ounce Grand Marnier


  1. 1.

    Combine ingredients in a bar glass and fill with ice. Stir well for 20 to 30 seconds and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with twist of orange peel.

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