Everybody loves an Irish car bomb

I wasn’t much of a drinker in college so I missed out on that phase of imbibing nasty “punches” and jungle juices and whatever else it was the people who were getting drunk and high and having sex were doing. I was busy tossing frisbees and hanging out in coffee shops, or drinking an occasional glass of cheap wine with my philosophy professors, and that was about it. The semester I spent in DC loosened me up, though even then I once turned down a Long Island iced tea because “I don’t like tea.” Today I do like tea, and I especially like alcohol, so obviously things have changed a bit.

Because I came around late to the joys of drink, I don’t have many guilty pleasures, the theme of this month’s Mixology Monday hosted by Stevi Deter. My elitism was well developed by the time I got into cocktails, and if I’m in a crappy bar where I don’t trust the bartender I’ll order straight whiskey before taking my chances on some foul sour mix concoction. But I do have one secret shame: the mixologically dubious and politically incorrect Irish car bomb.

Irish car bomb recipe

Guinness was the first beer I really liked and I think it was my friend Chad Wilcox who first turned me on to dropping a shot of Jameson and Bailey’s Irish Cream into it. Since then I’ve never had a night that involved Irish car bombs that wasn’t fun. Some bad next mornings, sure, but the nights are always a blast.

A few years ago Chad and I tested the theory that everybody loves an Irish car bomb. We were at an Irish pub in Nashville and our eyes were caught by two attractive and completely out of place women sitting at the bar. Everyone else was relaxed in jeans or khakis with a beer in hand; these two were dolled up in cocktail dresses, sitting alone with glasses of red wine. One of us had the idea to have our server send them a pair of Irish car bombs “courtesy of the gentlemen in the corner,” a completely inappropriate drink. We made side bets about what would happen next: a dollar on whether they would drink them and a dollar on whether they’d come and talk to us. I put my money on yes for both.

The women were surprised when the drinks came, but they flashed big smiles and downed them like pros. Our timing couldn’t have been worse though. At just that moment their friends arrived, a group of five or six former frat boys, and it looked like we were going to break even on the bet. In the end they did eventually wander over and talk for a few minutes, but we parted ways as they went off into the Nashville nightlife and we headed back to Vanderbilt for an outdoor concert. Still, I was glad to get $2 off our car bomb experiment, and I’ve had a soft spot for the car bomb ever since.

Normally for Mixology Monday I try to perfect a recipe and post a photo of the finished drink. I’m staying with a bartender friend at the moment, and while he understands the cocktail blogger lifestyle I think even he might be concerned if I start downing car bombs in his kitchen. Photographing it would be tricky too, since the Bailey’s causes the whole thing to curdle into a nasty mess if it’s not consumed immediately. So instead I searched through Flickr for photos of people drinking Irish car bombs, and it seems that indeed everybody does love them. Take the blonde on the left, for example:

Jen Irish car bomb

That’s Jen. We went to high school together. Back then she was one of the good kids; I remember she’d stitched the words “I love Jesus” into her backpack, but never quite finished the “s.” Now she shows up with empty glasses when you search for Irish car bomb photos. No one can resist their allure.

The woman on the right here also loves a car bomb. Look at how proper she is. Her right hand’s extended to catch the drips, and note how she’s holding the glass: pinkies out! Who are you, mysterious woman who drinks a car bomb so daintily? Are you single?

Irish car bomb

The red-headed guy in the next photo may actually be Irish but the look on his face reveals that he is clearly not in touch with his culture. Here’s to learning about your heritage!

Irish car bomb

These party girls are drinking car bombs from very full pint glasses. Major points to them if they pull it off.

Irish car bomb

Guys with mohawks love car bombs.

Irish car bomb

It’s the backstory that makes that one. He’s apparently bonding with his girlfriend’s uncles here. When you’re a dude with a mohawk, nothing builds relations with the future in-laws like introducing them to Irish car bombs.

Asians like car bombs too.

Irish car bomb

Seriously, they really do.

Irish car bomb

Irish car bomb

Irish car bomb

It’s never too early in the morning to do a round of car bombs. Weak pours though. Buck up, it’s Saint Patrick’s Day!

Irish car bomb

Without the Bailey’s mustache, this guy is just another drunk with his shirt off. With it he’s pure sex appeal.

Irish car bomb

You know you’re at a good bar when they serve so many car bombs that they pre-mix the Bailey’s and whiskey in a store-n-pour.

Irish car bomb

Damn it, I want a car bomb now.

[Photo used under Creative Commons license: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.]


16 thoughts on “Everybody loves an Irish car bomb”

  1. Wait, so they premix the Bailey’s and whiskey? Doesn’t that mean it’s pre-curdled? Or does the curdling not happen until the Bailey’s hits the beer? Why does beer curdle Bailey’s and not whiskey?

    Also, note that it basically becomes Bailey’s cheese at that point. So when they premix it and emulsify it, you’re basically getting whiskey and Bailey’s fondue.

  2. Good question. I assume it’s because of the increased acidity that comes from drowning a little bit of Bailey’s in a lot of beer. I would guess a spirit with a similar ph would have the same effect if it were mixed in the same proportion.

    A stabilized car bomb would be interesting. Supposedly you’d just have to add a base, but I don’t know how much that would impact the flavor.

  3. Aw. I remember your introducing you to the first tea you liked. It was all down hill from there, wasn’t it?

  4. Funny Irish Car Bomb story. At Jeff’s bachelor party, we ordered Irish Car Bombs (natch) and when the waitress brought them over, it was just Guinness. We asked, “Where are the shots?” and she replied, “I’m pretty sure they already mixed it in.” Being familiar with the curdling effect, we each lunged for a glass and chugged like our lives depended on it. At that point we looked at each other, and realized we had just chugged straight Guinness, around the same time as the bartender started flagging down the waitress to inform her she’d forgotten the shots. Maybe it was funnier if you’d been there.

    A second funny Irish Car Bomb story. I took a girl to a bar in Houston, somehow talk came around to Car Bombs and she said she’d never had one. So I ordered two, and when the waiter brought them over, she asked what to do, and I explained. At which point she said, “Oh no, I don’t chug.” After attempting to convince her, and failing, I agreed to let her pour the shot into the Guinness and sip like she wanted. Needless to say, I got the last laugh on that one.

    So yeah, long story short (too late), I agree with your assessment: “I’ve never had a night that involved Irish car bombs that wasn’t fun.”

  5. I can empathize with “don’t chug” girl. Not so much that I ‘don’t’ as that I’ve never been able to chug beer. Oh, I’ve tried. It’s a point of immense frustration.

    So I’ve never had an Irish Car Bomb, but at least I can say that “I’ve never [read a blog post] that involved Irish car bombs that wasn’t fun.”

  6. We did get replacement beers, and finished the Car Bombs in proper fashion, though we were all so drunk (except Ben, of course, our awesome DD) that I have no idea whether or not we ended up paying for them.

    Matt, I’m curious what you mean by being unable to chug. Do you simply mean “slow chugger” (which I myself am) or do you mean literally unable to down a whole beer in even less than a minute?

  7. We love these so much that, at our wedding, instead of a champagne toast, we had the entire wedding party belly-up at the bar to do an Irish Car Bomb race.

    It made for some great memories, and fantastic wedding photos.

    Oh.. and the winner?

    The bride.

Comments are closed.