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Irish Car Bomb
Car bomb.jpg
An Irish Car Bomb with Guinness and Irish cream.
Type Beer cocktail
Primary alcohol by volume
Served Straight up; without ice
Standard drinkware A pub glass and a shot glass.
Pint Glass (Pub).svg
Shot Glass (Standard).svg
Commonly used ingredients
  • 1/2 shot Irish whiskey
  • 1/2 shot Irish cream
  • 3/4 pint Irish stout
Preparation The whiskey is floated on top of the Irish Cream in a shot glass, and the shot glass is then dropped into the stout.
Notes Original recipe:
  • 1/2 oz. Irish cream
  • 1/2 pint Irish stout
  • 1/4 oz. Irish whiskey
  • 1/4 oz. coffee liqueur

An Irish Car Bomb is a beer cocktail similar to a boilermaker made with Irish stout, Irish Cream, and Irish whiskey.[1]

The name refers to the drink's Irish ingredients - typically Guinness stout, Baileys Irish Cream, and Jameson Irish Whiskey - and the car bombings notoriously used by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) during the Troubles. The whiskey is floated on top of the Irish Cream in a shot glass, and the shot glass is then dropped into the stout. Once mixed, the drink must be consumed quickly because it will curdle.[2][3]



According to most sources, the Irish Car Bomb was created in 1979 by Charles Burke Cronin Oat, current instructor at the Connecticut School of Bartending, and former owner and bartender of Wilson's Saloon, both in Norwich, CT. The drink evolved from several earlier versions dating back to 1977. The Grandfather, the original idea behind a Car Bomb, was a mixed shot of Bailey's and Kahlúa coffee liqueur. Though Guinness was also being consumed at the same time, the Grandfather was not mixed with the Guinness at the time of its creation. Shortly thereafter, Oat was inspired to add Jameson Irish Whiskey to the shot, which made the shot bubble up vigorously like an explosion, causing him to remark that "the IRA just showed up!" Hence, the newly designed shot was known as the IRA. Two years later while drinking IRAs and Guinness, Oat got the idea to drop the shot into his half-finished pint of Guinness, with the words "Bombs away!", and the Irish Car Bomb was born.[4][5][6][7]

The drink later spread beyond the city of Norwich due to increased advertising by Guinness beginning in the late-1980s. While Kahlúa was part of the original recipe, it is often dropped from the drink today. Some refer to that original recipe as a Belfast Car Bomb.[4][5][6][7]


The name Irish Car Bomb is sometimes considered offensive because of its, potentially emotive, reference to IRA tactics.[8][9] For this reason, some bartenders refuse to serve it.[8][9]

See also


External links

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