I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not exactly the most politically correct person I know. I am, in general, sensitive to others, but I don’t really go out of my way to keep up to date on what is and isn’t “acceptable” to say on any given day. These things tend to change over time and it’s tough to stay ahead of it all. But even I have a hard time calling this wildly popular, long time St. Patrick’s Day favorite Guinness Jameson Baileys Cocktail by its original name – The Irish Car Bomb. But what a great Irish celebration drink it is!
Originally created by a Connecticut bartender named Oat in 1979, it has been a runaway hit – particularly on St. Patrick’s Day – in bars throughout the country and the rest of the world. And why wouldn’t it be…? It’s a fun and oh so tasty combination of a pint of Guinness with a shot glass full of Jameson Irish Whiskey and Baileys Irish Cream plopped right into the glass of beer. As soon as the shot drops to the bottom of the beer glass, it’s time to chug away. It doesn’t get much more Irish than that!
The name, however, is misleading. And it is offensive to many. In fact, you’ll probably earn yourself a punch in the face if you order one in Ireland. Although not intended as such, the name has come to represent the IRA’s 1972 massive car bomb attack in Belfast, Ireland when peace talks with the British government broke down. Twenty car bombs were detonated in an 80 minute time span. Nine were killed and nearly 200 severely injured, mostly women and children. That event is now known as Bloody Friday.
Oat created the Jameson/Baileys shot several years after that incident on St. Patrick’s day in 1977, and immediately referred to it as the IRA due to the Irish nature of the ingredients. Two years later, he was with a colleague at a bar. Oat had the “IRA” shot and the colleague had a half pint of Guinness in his glass. Oat held the shot glass over the glass full of beer and dropped it in as his colleague shouted “bombs away.” The shot hit the bottom of the beer and created a mini “explosion,” and the two men immediately called it a car bomb. Hence the Irish Car Bomb was born. Neither Oat nor his buddy had a clue the creation would take off and become enormously popular, but it did. It is
famous infamous. There aren’t many out there who actually like what the drink has come to “represent,” but there are many who love the combination of rich, chocolate-y Guinness, creamy Baileys, and powerful Jameson. All Irish to their core.
So whether you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at your local pub or having a group of friends over, now you know how to make
an Irish Car Bomb that amazingly Irish Guinness Jameson Baileys cocktail! Order it anyway you like… the bartender will definitely know what you’re talking about. Although few like to call it by its original name, no one has dared come up with a replacement name. (Let me know in the comments below what you would call it.) Politically correct or not, it’s a great way to celebrate the Irish in you! (After all, with a name like Heather Shannon, I’m sure I’ve got lots of Irish in me!)
P.S. If you want to stick with just beer, I’ve got you covered with this Black and Tan Beer!