Drinks

Burnt Fuselage

Burnt Fuselage.

In the truest sense of the word, this is the signature drink of a crash pilot. An old classic, but hardly anyone seems to know it.

25 ml Park XO cognac
25 ml Dolin Blanc vermouth
20 ml Combier triple sec

Preparation: Stirred.

The Burnt Fuselage first appeared in print in 1927, in the appendix to Harry McElhone’s book Barflies and Cocktails. There we read: “Chuck Kerwood takes to the air so frequently that he likes a stiff steadier when he comes down to earth. The famous flying man calls his concoction the “Burnt Fuselage.” And believe me, 1/3 Grand Marnier, 1/3 Cognac, and 1/3 French vermouth, and your own fuselage will be warm, to say the least.” [5-81]

In the same book we are informed that Chuck Kerwood is one of the founding members of the I.B.F., the International Bar Flies. [5-95]

Chuck Kerwood, in the picture on the right.
Chuck Kerwood, in the picture on the right. [4]

Chuck Kerwood was an American from Philadelphia who served in the French Air Force during the First World War. [1-139] He was in the Lafayette Escadrille, a squadron of young Americans who flew for France before the US entered the war. [3]

The Saturday Evening Post reported on 4 May 1918 that Chuck Kerwood himself crashed several times, boasted of his numerous crashes, and even said that the aircraft manufacturers should have paid him a stipend in exchange for the many new planes he thus forced the French government to buy. He was recognised by his colleagues as one of the most courageous pilots of his time [2] and died in 1976. [3]

We chose a Triple Sec because, or even though, the original simply calls for Grand Marnier. It is important to know that the oldest variant of Grand Marnier is a Triple Sec based on a neutral alcohol. The cognac-based variant is called “Cordon Rouge” and has existed since 1880. [6] [7] Which of these variants was meant in the original recipe, we do not know. But it doesn’t really matter, because personal taste should also play a role in the choice. For us, a Combier Triple Sec gives a more coherent picture, especially if you reduce its proportion slightly.

Interestingly, the Burnt Fuselage is published only once in the old books. There are several comparable combinations of brandy, curaçao and vermouth, namely (in order of publication date): Queen Elizabeth Cocktail (1934), Young Man Cocktail (1934), Buckingham (1935), Greyhound Cocktail (1937), Cinzano Cocktail (1947) or Loinaz Cocktail (1947). Details can be found in the collection of recipes below.

Sources
  1. https://books.google.de/books?id=JDMBCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA139&lpg=PA139&dq=%22Chuck+Kerwood%22&source=bl&ots=E0ItPCKTrT&sig=ACfU3U1o-jLhLrZ2pkgIxMIU2Hb1ewrclg&hl=de&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjv8eGah-PoAhXM-KQKHY9bBnkQ6AEwEHoECAoQSA#v=onepage&q=%22Chuck%20Kerwood%22&f=false Ross McCammon & David Wondrich (Hrsg.): Drink Like a Man. The Only Cocktail Guide Anyone Really Needs. ISBN 9781452143552. San Francisco, 2016.
  2. https://www.yakimaherald.com/scene/food/on-the-bar-toast-our-audacious-wwi-pilots-with-a/article_63e48bc6-5931-11e8-8e79-57940e7f09b0.html On the Bar: Toast our audacious WWI
 pilots with a Burnt Fuselage. By Pat Muir, 16. May 2018.
  3. https://www.thedailybeast.com/mixing-up-the-paris-of-the-1920s Mixing Up the Paris of the 1920s. By David Wondrich, 20. February 2018.
  4. https://zozzledcocktail.wordpress.com/2016/07/21/the-burnt-fusalage/ The Burnt Fuselage. 21. July 2016.
  5. Harry McElhone: Barflies and Cocktails. Over 300 Cocktail Receipts by Harry and Wynn with slight contributions From Arthur Moss. Paris, Lecram Press, 1927.
  6. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Marnier Grand Marnier.
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Marnier Grand Marnier.
Burnt Fuselage.
Burnt Fuselage.

Historical recipes

1927 Harry McElhone: Barflies and Cocktails. Seite 81. Burnt Fuselage.

Chuck Kerwood takes to the air so frequently that he
likes a stiff steadier when he comes down to earth. The
famous flying man calls his concoction the “Burnt Fuselage.”
And believe me, 1/3 Grand Marnier, 1/3 Cognac, and
1/3 French vermouth, and your own fuselage will be warm,
to say the least.

1934 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official Mixer’s Manual. Seite 168. Queen Elizabeth Cocktail.

1 Dash Curaçao
1/2 Italian Vermouth
1/2 Brandy
Stir well in ice and strain into glass. Add 1
Cherry.
Use glass number 1

1934 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official Mixer’s Manual. Seite 175. Young Man Cocktail.

1 Dash Angostura Bitters
2 Dashes Curaçao
1/4 Italian Vermouth
3/4 Brandy
Stir well in ice and strain into glass. Add
Olive or Cherry.
Use glass number 1.

1935 Gustav Selmer Fougner: Along the Wine Trail. Seite 206. Buckingham.

Two parts of Brandy and one of French Vermouth, to which are
added two dashes of Grand Marnier.

1937 R. de Fleury: 1800 – And All That. Seite 62. Greyhound Club.

Copyright by
W. Campbell
1/6 Cognac Brandy
2/3 French Vermouth
2 Dashes Orange Bit­-
ters
1/6 Grand Marnier
Squeeze Lemon Peel
Shake.

1947 Pedro Chicote: Cocktails mundiales. Seite 127. Cinzano-Cocktail.

Prepárese en cocktelera:
3 ó 4 pedacitos de hielo.
10 gotas de coñac.
10 gotas de Grand Marnier.
Una copita de vermouth Cinzano.
Agítese muy bien y sírvase en copa de cocktail.

1947 Pedro Chicote: Cocktails mundiales. Seite 183. Loinaz-Cocktail.

Prepárese en cocktelera:
Unos pedacitos de hielo.
Unas gotas de curaçao.
1/2 copita de coñac.
1/2 copita de vermouth italianó.
Agítese y sírvase en copa de cocktail.

1948 Trader Vic: Bartender’s Guide. Seite 83. Queen Elizabeth Cocktail.

3/4 oz. brandy 3/4 oz. Italian vermouth
. 1 dash curaçao
Stir with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

explicit capitulum
*

About

Hi, I'm Armin and in my spare time I want to promote bar culture as a blogger, freelance journalist and Bildungstrinker (you want to know what the latter is? Then check out "About us"). My focus is on researching the history of mixed drinks. If I have ever left out a source you know of, and you think it should be considered, I look forward to hearing about it from you to learn something new. English is not my first language, but I hope that the translated texts are easy to understand. If there is any incomprehensibility, please let me know so that I can improve it.

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