Irish Car Bomb: A Simple Recipe for a Dropped Shot

Irish Car Bomb - A Popular Dropped Shot of Irish Whiskey and Guinness
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  • 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving
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The Irish car bomb is a popular bar shot and it is incredibly easy to make. If you've enjoyed a few at the bar, it's time to learn how to create this fun party drink at home. You'll need just three Irish ingredients for your Irish car bomb—Irish whiskey, Irish cream, and Guinness Stout—just don't order it in Ireland.

Similar in both method and effect as the Jäger bomb and the boilermaker, the Irish car bomb is not for the faint of heart. It is customary to chug the drink right after the shot of Irish cream and whiskey is dropped into the glass of beer. However, it is becoming popular for bartenders to skip the shot glass and simply mix everything right in the pint glass.

It is a lot to drink to get down in one shot. 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.

What You'll Need

How to Make It

  1. Pour the Irish cream into a shot glass, then top it with Irish whiskey.
  2. In a tall pint glass, pour 1/2 a pint of Guinness and allow the foam to settle.
  3. When it's time to drink, drop the shot glass into the Guinness and drink as fast as you can.

A Few Notes About the Irish Car Bomb

First of all, do not order this drink in Ireland. It is an American drink and the name refers to the explosive effect when the shot is dropped into the beer.

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. Ordering an "Irish car bomb" is likely to get you thrown out of the pub and few people would argue that you did not deserve it. 

Some drinkers have taken to layering the Irish whiskey on top of the Irish cream, then lighting 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, if your intention is to get "bombed,"  ​playing with fire is 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, including Bushmills and Kilbeggan. Pour what you like, but try not to 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 Baileys Irish cream into an Irish car bomb and use 6 ounces of Guinness, the drink would be about 9 percent ABV (18 proof).

Does that number surprise you? It is lower than many of us would think given the dropped shot's notorious reputation. In reality, slamming one of these bomb drinks 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 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 slammed between two sipping drinks (beer, mixed drinks, or 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 drunk (we're really 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, but in all likelihood, you won't because 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, the intensity of your hangover is the result of a series of choices, good, bad, or otherwise.