Car Bombs

The event came about due to a text from Heather. I am not blaming her, though. We were all complicit and there is no one to blame. She innocently wondered whether the Usual Suspects would be at The Front Page to enjoy a few Irish Car Bombs on the occasion of St. Patrick’s Day, when the determined Saint drove all the snakes out of Ireland. That was the Olde Sod’s gain, and not ours, since apparently all the reptiles swam direct to Washington, DC.

I flinched a little, since many of us have had a passion for the destruction of those who use improvised explosive devices as a terrifying tool of asymmetric warfare.

So, this is all OK at the Front Page, or most pubs in America, but this is a purely American thing.
Don’t try to order an Irish Car Bomb in Ireland. If you do, you’ll fully deserve to be thrown out of the pub. You may have never stopped to consider the name of this Guinness-and-Jamison’s-and-Baileys drink, too occupied with making sure that you don’t spill any as you chug the beer-shot combo.


To the extent possible, keep your wits about you. A few key safety points to remember before things get rolling:

First, the Irish Car Bomb is an American cocktail. It is only called Irish because of the use of Guinness, Baileys Irish Cream and Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Second, we call it a ‘car bomb’ because when the shot of Baileys is dropped into the glass of Guinness, it bubbles with a chemical reaction that appears to be an explosion, and actually becomes one when it reaches the bloodstream. Think of it as an Irish Boilermaker, if you will.


But because of the Irish ingredients, someone thought it was a good idea to name it an Irish Car Bomb. It was not. Car bombs are not taken lightly in Ireland and the name makes reference to the time of The Troubles back in the Old Country, ones we cannot imagine here. The once romantic Irish Republican Army was splintered into warring factions, some taken and molded by ruthless and violent neo-Marxists. Many people were hurt, and times were hard.

It’s just offensive, and naming a drink after this time in history doesn’t really make a lot of sense, particularly in light of the ubiquitous vehicle-borne IED. It’s just insensitive. Of course, I checked my snowflake privilege at the door to the bar. It is what it is.

Third, if you’re going to make this drink, you need to know how to make it properly (and try to come up with a different name for it). ‘Irish Boilermaker’ might be right, though frankly I find the irreverence of the original name to thoroughly in keeping with the nature of my forbearers.

How to make an Irish Car Bomb Cocktail :

Pour yourself a glass of Guinness- “It’s good for you!”

Not too much because, because you need room to accommodate the mass of the shot glass depth-charge, and the fact that you’ll have to chug it all. About half a pint seems to be a reasonable compromise.

Next, in a shot glass pour half an ounce of Jameson Irish Whiskey and half an ounce of Baileys Irish Cream. Drop the shot glass into the beer, chug and repeat.

I restricted myself to two and went home. I should have been down at the farm, cleaning up for the arrival of a party of birthday revelers. My moderation was not a major performance by a lad who once held the American record for consumption of Guinness pints in one sitting at a pub outside the Greenway in London. I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the place, nor much about the entire weekend. Or actually, that entire summer.

But time has a way of marching on, doesn’t it? To the Green!


Copyright 2017 Vic Socotra

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