Irish Car Bomb: history, recipe, and variations of the controversial drink

Irish Car Bomb: history, recipe, and variations of the controversial drink

What is the craziest cocktail variation you have ever heard of? Maybe you are the adventurous type and have seen it all. But have you come across the Irish Car Bomb cocktail? If not, then what is it? It is a beer-based cocktail made by dropping a shot of Irish cream and whiskey into a stout glass. Find out the history behind the controversial drink and why it's called the Irish Car Bomb.

Irish Car Bomb
The popular Irish drink, the Irish Car Bomb made with a glass of Guinness beer and a shot of Irish cream. Photo: Paula Thomas
Source: Getty Images

Many alcohol lovers prefer to have their favourite beverage as it is. However, there is the adventurous kind that loves to experiment with various concoctions. Such mixture is known as a cocktail punch, and it has garnered a following due to the taste variations experienced.

What is the Irish Car Bomb drink?

What's in an Irish Car Bomb? It is a beer-based cocktail made by dropping a shot of cream liquor into a glass of stout beer. The cocktail features Irish cream and whiskey hence the Irish name in the title.

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Is it offensive to order an Irish Car Bomb? Well, it depends on where you are. If you are a country outside the UK, then the bartenders might serve you the drink. However, the cocktail is very controversial in the UK, and ordering it will get you in trouble with the locals. So here is why you shouldn't order an Irish Car Bomb in Ireland.

The title comes from the car bombings during The Troubles, a northern Ireland conflict that lasted 30 years. Many people familiar with the conflict consider the drink offensive and don't appreciate its existence at all.

Irish Car Bomb recipe

The drink has become popular among revellers because of its potency. However, the cocktail can knock you out because of the alcohol concentration in the mixture. So, one should be careful when consuming such a concoction.

So, what are the Irish Car Bomb ingredients?

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  • ¾ pint of prefered stout
  • ½ shot of Irish cream liqueur
  • ½ shot of Irish whiskey

Armed with the ingredients above, you are ready to prepare the cocktail. Follow the procedure below to make your cocktail.

Irish Car Bomb
A shot of Irish cream and Irish whiskey is dropped into a pint of stout, to make an Irish car bomb. Photo: Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald
Source: Getty Images
  1. First, pour the cream liqueur into a shot glass.
  2. Then add the whiskey into the same shot glass.
  3. Next, pour your stout beer into a mug and let the foam settle.
  4. Finally, pour the cream/whiskey shot glass into the stout.
  5. Make sure to drink fast.

Why do you have to drink an Irish Car Bomb fast? Well, the reason is that when you drop the whiskey/cream liqueur shot into the stout mug, it will curdle up quickly. The curdled drink isn't appealing to look at, thus the urgency to gulp it down.

Why is an Irish Car Bomb drink bad?

The liquor has a bad reputation due to the title it posses. In addition, the drink is not popular among the Irish people worldwide due to the death and violence witnessed during The Troubles conflict.

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But how was it created? The cocktail was invented in the United States by Charles Burke Cronin Oat in 1979. Burke made the beverage to celebrate St. Patrick's day. However, the drink turned out to be offensive to a faction of people and popular to others.

In the US, the drink has become popular among millennials during St. Patrick day. Unfortunately, most are not familiar with the conflict the concoction is named after. Not only is the drink fashionable among the youth, but Irish Car Bomb cupcakes are also available during this occasion.

Car Bomb drink variations

Irish Car Bomb
A shot of Irish Cream and Irish Whiskey is dropped into a pint of Guinness Draught beer to make an Irish Car Bomb. Photo: Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald
Source: Getty Images

The drink has a reputation of getting the consumer wasted or 'bombed' in a short time. Its popularity has led to the invention of variations that require similar ingredients and procedures to make. Here they are:

  • Belfast Carbomb: Made by pouring Kahlua coffee liqueur into a shot glass. Then topped with Bailey's cream and Jameson whiskey. Drop the shot glass into a half-pint of Guinness, and consume immediately.
  • German Carbomb: Made by pouring Heineken into a large glass. Then a shot of Jager is dropped into the beer and drank immediately.
  • Mickey's Irish Carbomb: Pour a shot of Bailey's caramel cream and have a glass or cup of Mickey's ready. Drop the shot into a cup and drink up!
  • Original Irish Carbomb 1979: Mix Bailey’s cream with Kahlua coffee liqueur in a shot glass. Then pour the shot glass into your Guinness stout mug.
  • Tijuana Carbomb: Pour a bottle of corona in a pint glass. Then wait for it to settle. Then drop in a shot of Cuervo, and chug it down.

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The variations above are just some of the popular ones available. However, do not let them deter you from creating your modification. Creativity is essential when making the cocktail with your ingredients.

The Irish Car Bomb is a controversial drink. The name is derived from the conflict that occurred in Northern Ireland that lasted 30 years. However, the cocktail is a favourite among the young in countries such as the U.S.A. recently published an interesting article about traditional Ghanaian food. If you're looking for new recipes to spice up your daily cooking routine, look no further than these traditional Ghanaian foods. The foods use locally available ingredients and simple methods to produce delectable results.

These recipes will aid you to cook traditional Ghanaian foods as intended. Learn how to make these foods at home using readily available ingredients.

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Chris Ndetei (Lifestyle writer) Christopher Ndetei is a junior reporter writer who joined the Yen team in May 2021. He graduated from the Machakos Technical College in 2009 with a diploma in ICT. Chris has over two years of experience in content creation and more than ten working in the hospitality industry. He covers lifestyle/entertainment, focusing on biographies, life hacks, gaming and guides. In 2023, Christopher finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. You can reach him at

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