The Molotov cocktail, also known as the petrol bomb, gasoline bomb, fire bomb, or simply Molotov, is a generic name used for a variety of improvised incendiary weapons. They are frequently used by rioters due to the relative ease of production. They typically consist of some form of easily breakable vessel or container, often a glass bottle, filled with a highly flammable mixture of gasoline or napalm mixed with surfactants or other thickening agents, with a wick, often of cloth, soaked in a slowly burning combustible liquid like kerosene that penetrates through the sealed opening of the vessel.
In its simplest form, a Molotov cocktail is a glass bottle containing gasoline usually with a source of ignition such as a burning cloth wick held in place by the bottle's stopper. The wick is usually soaked in alcohol or paraffin, rather than petrol.
In action the fuse is lit and the bottle hurled at a target such as a vehicle or fortification. When the bottle smashes on impact, the ensuing cloud of gasoline droplets and vapor are ignited, causing an immediate fireball followed by a raging fire as the remainder of the fuel is consumed.
Other flammable liquids such as wood alcohol and turpentine have been used in place of petrol. Thickening agents such as tar, strips of tire tubing, sugar, animal blood, XPS foam, egg whites, motor oil, rubber cement, and dish soap have been added to help the burning liquid adhere to the target and create clouds of thick choking smoke.
The following is based on Fallout 3 cut content and has not been confirmed by canon sources.