Irish Car Bomb – Original Recipe And History

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See our affiliate policy for more info.

Irish Car Bomb

5 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American






Total time



Learn how to make the Irish Car Bomb.


  • 1/3 oz 10 ml Irish Cream

  • 1/3 oz 10 ml Coffee Liqueur

  • 1/3 oz 10 ml Irish Whiskey

  • 8 oz 240 ml Porter Beer (Guinness)


  • Technique: Pousse Café and Bomb Shot
  • In a shot glass, pour the kahlua, the Irish cream, and finally, the whiskey. Pour gently over the back of a spoon to make clear layers between the three ingredients.
  • Fill a pint glass halfway with Guinness.
  • Drop the shot in the Guinness and down the cocktail quickly since the Irish cream starts curling instantly.

Featured Video

History Of The Irish Car Bomb.

The Irish Car Bomb was invented in 1979 by Charles Burke Cronin Oat while he worked at Wilson’s Saloon in Connecticut. The Irish Car Bomb was a bomb shot cocktail using another drink he invented called the IRA Shot. The IRA Shot is a layered shot of coffee Liqueur, Irish Cream, and Irish Whiskey. Nowadays, the shot served with the Irish car bomb is usually just Irish cream and Irish whiskey, but initially, there was coffee liqueur too. This is a fantastic cocktail, and the mix of Irish cream, coffee, and Guinness is fantastic.

Since its invention, the Irish Car Bomb has been one of the most popular St. Parick Day cocktails in the United States. St. Patricks Day is a regular holiday in Ireland, but it’s an all-out party in the United States. People dress up in costumes, there are parades, entire rivers are dyed green, and people get hammered. A cocktail like the Irish car bomb fits the mood of the day. In the last ten years, there has been a push to rename the cocktail as the name is considered offensive by some. although after 40 years as a super popular St. Patrick’s day drink and being known as the Irish car bomb, that might be hard to do.

The Irish Car Bomb Name.

I see my role in this as simply being the conveyor of the history of this cocktail. Whose duty is to convey information free from judgment, both good and bad. Judgment and opinion are the personal responsibilities of every person for themselves.

That being said, the name Irish car bomb is considered offensive for its reference to bombings by the IRA in the early 1970s. I imagine living in fear of the IRA is pretty traumatic, not to mention the innocent people who died, so don’t ask for one of these in Ireland. I’ve never been to Ireland, but from what I have read, if you order one of these at a bar, someone may try to fight you. That may be an exaggeration, but I wouldn’t know.

In the United States (Where this drink is from), I don’t think most people care. I’ve never personally witnessed anyone get upset in the United States, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. An alternative name I’ve seen suggested is the Irish Slammer. Some get very offended by the name, and some get very offended at the idea of changing the name. You can’t make everyone happy. So if you want to roll the dice and order one, I say read the room and know your audience, and remember most people in the United States are not personally invested in the Irish Car Bombs name.

The Irish car bomb is not the only controversial drink name. Some find the Kamakaze upsetting because it’s named after the Japanese suicide attacks of WWII. Adios motherfucker is often called an AMF. All the sexual cocktail names. The Black and Tan came out of late 19th century San Francisco, but there was another Irish paramilitary group in the 1920s called the black and tans. Even though the drink predates the paramilitary group, I’ve read of some Irish pubs refusing to serve Black and Tans. I read a statistic once that over the last 5000 years, there have been around 11,000 wars, so something is going to bother somebody, be it a book, movie, opinion, simply existing, etc. So again, read the room, know your audience, be good, and try to make wise choices.

Download the free Vintage American Cocktail app.

See what you can make with what you have.

2 responses to “Irish Car Bomb – Original Recipe And History”

  1. Love Me Some Diversity In The Bar Avatar
    Love Me Some Diversity In The Bar

    Thank you for letting us decide what’s appropriate in the bar. Many virtue signalers shudder and try to cancel these types of thoughts.
    I’ve never seen anyone, including “NY” Sandhogs (many are gypsy-like, following the tunnel work) get weepy or offended by this type of black humor. The Scots, maybe. (jk Jimmy. A sensitive Scott bartender who got crushed by my, “Black Irish” girlfriend. LOL)
    I was introduced to them by some very drunk, out all night, well dressed college kids while having early morning fun in NOLA.
    G-d Bless America

    1. Absolutely. Folks should be able to say and do whatever they want to and with themselves as long as they are not hurting others or telling others what they can or can’t do with themselves. And that goes both ways. Oh yeah New Orleans is the greatest place on earth. I love how nasty and degenerate that place is. Good thing I don’t live there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Discover More Classics

Search our collection for more historically accurate drink recipes