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What is an Irish Car Bomb?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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Not the most well known of all mixed drinks, the Irish car bomb is a variety of boilermaker that can be made with a number of different types of beers as well as several different kinds of liquor. The name for the drink is created from the union of two factors. First, it's considered to be a product of Irish culture. Second, the actual combination is thought to create an explosive experience which is not unlike the car bombs used by the Provisional Irish Republican Army during the struggles in that country.

There are also several different names commonly associated with the Irish car bomb. The names all tend to be colorful and in some cases indicate perceptions of the conflict that is often associated with the drink. Some people know it as the Belfast car bomb, while others will order an IRA car bomb. In some instances, the drink carries the more neutral name of the peacemaker.

The basic Irish car bomb recipe calls for the use of three ingredients. Stout is enhanced with the aid of Irish Cream and Irish whiskey. Where some of the variations come into the picture depend on the particular types of beer, whiskey, and creams are used to manufacture the drink. Guinness is a popular choice for the stout or beer component, while Bailey’s Irish Cream is considered by many to be the only option for the cream portion of the drink. When it comes to the whiskey, Jameson’s is often considered the best choice for an authentic Irish car bomb, although fans of the drink in the United States are likely to substitute Jim Beam or a similar whiskey to the mix.

There are ways to dress up an Irish car bomb for special occasions. When December rolls around, it may be prepared with the substitution of peppermint schnapps for Irish cream, giving the drink a decidedly winter holiday feel. For presentation to a group, a large beer pitcher can be used for the stout. When delivered to the table, a glass of whiskey is dropped into the pitcher, then topped with the Irish cream.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including DelightedCooking, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By rams1320 — On Apr 20, 2010

The most delicious thing ever!

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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