Irish Car Bomb – Original Recipe & History

Irish Car Bomb
Irish Car Bomb

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.

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Irish Car Bomb

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

221

kcal
ABV

10%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Irish Car Bomb.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 oz Irish Cream

  • 1/3 oz Coffee Liqueur

  • 1/3 oz Irish Whiskey

  • 8 oz Porter Beer (Guinness)

Directions

  • In a shot glass, pour the kaluha, then pour the Irish cream, and finally pour 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.
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Black & Tan – Original Recipe And History

Black And Tan
Black And Tan

The Oldest Known Recipe I Could Find.

Believe it or not, this is a pretty old drink. The oldest recipe for it I could find is from the 1891 book “American Bar-Tender” by William Boothby of San Francisco, California. He gives three names for the same drink. He calls it a “Half and Half,” an “Arf an Arf,” and a “Black and Tan,” and all three are just half porter and half ale. He doesn’t specify exactly what kinds of ale or porter to use except for just ale and porter.

How to Layer Beer Step One: Gravity.

Layering is achieved by stacking different fluids based on gravity, from heaviest to lightest in order. By “gravity,” we mean the average atomic density of all the dissolved material and its molecules. Alcohol density is 789 kg/m³, water is 978 kg/m³, and sugar is 1586 kg/m³. The average gravity of an alcoholic drink is calculated based on the amount of these three combined items. As you can see, sugar is significantly the heaviest, water is in the middle, and alcohol is slightly lighter than water. So low sugar and high ABV spirits will have lower gravity than high sugar and low ABV liqueurs and thus will float on top.

Every different beer has a different gravity since they have different alcohol, water, and sugar combinations. So the trick is to either google each specific beer’s final gravity or experiment and physically try laying two beers. Thus not all Black and Tan are black on top and tan on the bottom. That all depends on the specific gravity of each beer (generally, there is a range for each type). Most pale ales are heavier than a porter like Guinness, but styles like IPA are often lighter than Guinness, which would result in a Black and Tan with the black on the bottom and the tan on top. To give a quick example, the gravity of Guinness is 1006 kg/m³, and the gravity of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is 1.011 kg/m³; thus, the pale ale will sit at the bottom and the Guinness will float on top. Hell, even bud light is heavier than Guinness, but a beer like Asahi Super Dry has a final gravity of 1.005 kg/m³ so that it would sit on top (but barely). In my experience, though, Guinness is oddly lighter than anything else out there, and it’s the rare occurrence that any pale or brown ale is lighter than it, so it is usually safe just always to put Guinness on top.

Here is a handy chart on brewersfriend.com with the general range of gravities for each style of beer.

How to Layer Beer Step Two: Pouring.

Once you know the order, the next thing is the pour. Pour the first layer normal. I pour the first layer a little harder to try and agitate out some of the bubbles. Even though the first layer is heavier, the rising bubbles will force a bit of mixing and make the divide between the two beers less sharp. Once the bubbles of the first layer settle a bit, slowly pour over a bent spoon the second layer. This helps prevent the two layers from mixing and provides an excellent clean division.

Recipe Resources

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Black & Tan (1891 Recipe)

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

208

kcal
ABV

6%

Total time

3

minutes

See how to make a Black and Tan beer cocktail

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Pale Ale

  • 8 oz Porter (Guinness)

Directions

  • Pour pale ale halfway up a pint glass.
  • Once bubbles settle, slowly pour the porter beer over a bent spoon to finish filling the glass.
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Make Cocktails Like A Pro

If you have ever struggled with a recipe or wonder why yours are not turning out like they do at the bar then check out my simple step-by-step videos. I will walk you through how to expertly build each drink so you get consistently great results.

  • Free and simple step by step videos.
  • Tips and tricks from years of experience.
  • Historically accurate and balanced recipes.