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The Molotov Cocktail: One Cocktail You Don't Want To Drink

Updated on December 16, 2017
angela_michelle profile image

Angela loves history and feels it is essential to our future to know the past. Without it, we are destined to repeat the past.

Different Molotov Cocktails displayed at a museum in London.
Different Molotov Cocktails displayed at a museum in London. | Source

A Molotov Cocktail: You Can Drink

1 1/2 oz vodka
1 splash 151 proof rum

First pour the vodka, it tastes best with Russian vodka. Then add a splash of the 151 proof rum. Once mixed, ignite the drink and blow it out before you drink it.

The Molotov Cocktail is not a cocktail ordered at a restaurant, rather a homemade bomb ofteen also known as the Molotov Bomb. The explosive gets its name due to the bottle container used. The bottle is filled with gasoline or other flammable product with a wick sticking out in order to set the product ablaze. They are treated much like a hand grenade, where the person lights it then tosses them at their opponent, awaiting the explosion. It does not as instantly destructive as a grenade, rather it sets the target on fire slowly burning its way to destruction. Often times in order to make sure the object is set on fire, they will add a thickening substance to the cocktail to make sure it not only catches fire, but stays ablaze. It became popular due to its cheapness to make and the availability of its supplies.

World War II Molotov Cocktail

How they often would carry them during World War II.
How they often would carry them during World War II. | Source

What's In a Name?

Molotov Cocktail was named after Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov. During World War II, Molotov was the people's commissar for foreign affairs in the Soviet Union. He was neither the creator nor the first to use them. Actually, it was named to mock him, because the Finnish Army would use them against him and the Soviet Union during Winter War and Continuation War. They even mass produced them dubbing them Molotov cocktails.

When first coined after Vyacheslav Molotov, the Finns had claimed they were sending bread baskets to the staving Soviets. Instead they sent down a large bomb and called it the "Molotov Bread Baskets." As they sent them, they often would say, "a drink to go with the food."

Although they were named after an enemy during these conflicts, the Finnish were not the first to use them. They were first used in the Spanish Civil War in 1936-1939. Spaniard General Francisco Franco had encouraged many to use these against the Soviet tanks throughout this time. Although they obviously called it by a different name, most likely a fire bomb, fire bottle, petrol bomb, or gasoline bomb.

Exploding Molotov Cocktail

An Exploding Molotov Cocktail.
An Exploding Molotov Cocktail. | Source

How It Works

The Molotov Cocktail is almost always made within a glass bottle, usually a pop bottle or wine bottle, filled with an explosive product but not all the way full. Usually gasoline or other flammable product like alcohol that would cause an explosion. Then the top is sealed airtight with rubber or other item that would allow an airtight seal.

Then through the seal a wick of some sort, whether it be an actual wick or a rag is placed touching the fluid as well sticking out of the bottle. The rag or wick is lit, then thrown towards the enemy. When the bottle shatters, the gasoline spreads through the air, which will cause the area to be lit on fire. In war they often will throw it at a tank or vehicle which will maximize the damage to their opponent. Some thickening products are often used in the Molotov Cocktail. Some of these products include sugar, tar, egg whites, animal blood, motor oil, rubber cement, or dish soap. This allows for the fire to burn longer and cause more damage. Without this, the fire may end before any damage is caused.

A Molotov Cocktail


Modern Uses of It

Although this cocktail was supposed to be used during war, it has been used in more modern times for worse purposes. On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered their High School in Columbine, then Harris threw a Molotov bomb in the library. Fortunately, it did not explode and was not used successfully. Unfortunately, the one that was thrown in the cafeteria by Klebold did explode. Fortunately fire sprinklers distinguished it.

Molotov cocktails are common in both movies and video games and are used during war. Although they have become less common now that there are more high tech advancements in weaponry, they still provide quite the bang!



© 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz


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    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 6 years ago from United States

      Yeah, I think the movies may just enhance their effects. LOL. :) Thanks for commenting.

    • electricsky profile image

      electricsky 6 years ago from North Georgia

      Thanks for sharing your bomb making expertise. They don't look that powerful in the pictures compared to what I see in the movies.

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thank you Garnetbird. :) I appreciate the comment.

    • profile image

      Garnetbird 7 years ago

      Very well written Hub

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      I never realized that. Now I'm going to have to search how to make the Molotov Cocktail that you CAN drink is made of.

      So ummm, what does the whole "hi Jack" thing mean, that would cause you to get ambushed.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      We learn something new everyday. Funny thing is if you go to a bar today you can order this cocktail drink by name. It is now a drink consumed.

      One thing I would never recommend doing though is to greet your friend "Jack" in a loud voice at a busy airport unless you are looking to get in big trouble. Crying out "Hi Jack" is a great way to get busted.

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      LOL. :)

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      I will NOT drink to that!

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      I think he knew back then, and I'm sure it didn't make him happy back then. Although it is a little embarrassing that the name stuck. LOL. Some of the readings were trying to claim he invented it, but I'm quite certain by my research that the version I put on here is correct. I got that from more reputable sources.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for the Molotov history, a_m. If Molotov were to return, he would not be a happy camper to learn what his name now stands for.

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Honestly, anything involving fire scares me. Thanks for the compliment though!!!!

    • Jason R. Manning profile image

      Jason R. Manning 7 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Good read A-M. Kind of funny, that isn't something I would want to stand up and throw at a tank, but I am a little goofy.

      God Bless.

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Apparently it's also really big for violent protesters as well.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Interesting history of these bombs which might be the forerunners of today's terrorist weapons.