Irish Car Bomb Recipe (Shooter)

Popular Irish Car Bomb Dropped Shot Drink
A popular dropped shot, the Irish Car Bomb is fun at the bar or a party, but be careful because you will get drunk fast. Photo by Paula Thomas / Moment / Getty Images
  • 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 Drink
Ratings (24)

The Irish Car Bomb is a popular bar shot and it is similar in both method and effect to the Jäger Bomb. In this case, a mix of Irish whiskey and Irish cream are dropped into Ireland's signature stout beer, Guinness.

This shooter is not for the faint of heart for the simple fact that it's a lot to drink in one shot. That said, unless you want to get very drunk very quickly or enjoy a rather nasty hangover, then it may be best to limit yourself to one (or two) per night.

Just like the Jager Bomb, it is customary to chug an Irish Car Bomb shortly after the shot is dropped into the glass of beer. However, it is becoming popular for bartenders to skip the shot glass and just mix everything in a pint glass.

Either as a bomb or mix, the point is to get the drink down before it begins to curdle. Drink fast!

What You'll Need

How to Make It

  1. Pour the Irish cream liqueur into a shot glass.
  2. Pour the Irish whiskey on top.
  3. Fill a pint glass between 1/2 and 3/4 full of Guinness and allow the foam to settle.
  4. Drop the shot glass into the Guinness and enjoy.

A Few Notes About the Irish Car Bomb

  • First of all, do not order this drink in Ireland. It is an American drink and someone had the not-so-brilliant idea to name it after a very bad time in recent Irish history, known as the Irish "Troubles." Real car bombs are not taken lightly in Ireland and ordering an 'Irish Car Bomb' is likely to get you thrown out of the pub (and you would deserve it!). The name refers to the explosion effect when the shot is dropped into the beer.
  • Some drinkers have taken to layer the Irish whiskey on top of the Irish cream and light the whiskey on fire. It's not necessary and 80-proof whiskey really doesn't flame well, you need a higher proof liquor for that. Besides that, if your intention is to get 'bombed,' playing with fire may not be in your best interest. This is especially true if you've already had a few drinks.
  • Jameson is the most popular Irish whiskey to pour into an Irish Car Bomb. There are many options available, like Bushmills and Kilbeggan. I would simply recommend that you don't spend too much money on the whiskey. After all, it is just a shot.

How Strong is the Irish Car Bomb?

If we were to pour Jameson and Bailey's into an Irish Car Bomb and use 6 ounces of Guinness, the drink would be about 9% ABV (18 proof).

Does that number surprise you? It is lower than many of us would think given the Irish Car Bomb's notorious reputation. In reality, slamming one bomb drink is like drinking two pints of Guinness. However, it is the drinks that come before and after the shot that make the difference.

The standard piece of advice for avoiding (or minimizing) hangovers is to stick to one drink per hour. The majority of the time, an Irish Car Bomb is a secondary drink that is shot between two sipping drinks (beer, mixed drinks, whatever).

It's not likely that the bomb shot will be your only drink during that hour because:

  1. The primary purpose is to get wasted (we're not fooling anyone here).
  2. If you take longer than a few minutes to drink an Irish Car Bomb, it is a disgusting, curdled mess.
  3. Are you really going to follow this drink up with a glass of water or soda? More power to you if you do! In all likelihood, you won't (it's a party!).

It is the compounding of multiple drinks in a short period of time that is going to make it seem like the Irish Car Bomb is stronger than it is. In reality, your hangover is the result of a series of choices.