History of Belfast Bomber Drink

The Belfast Bomber is a cocktail drink or recipe as most bartenders and drinkers would prefer to call it. It is also known as the Belfast Bomb, Irish Bomb, Irish Car Bomb or simply a Car Bomb.


The drink consists of: Bailey's, Kahlua, and Jameson's whiskey, or any whiskey.

These are all combined in a shot glass. The shot glass is slowly dropped inside a mug or half pint of Guinness Stout Beer. All of these ingredients make the drink seem to boil or explode, hence the bomb in the name. The Belfast Bomber should be taken or consumed immediately as soon as the shot glass hits the bottom. Letting the drink stand for a long time results in curdling which will make it a mess and difficult to drink. A lot of people say the drink tastes incredible, and many Americans say it is the only way they can drink Guinness Stout beer.

The Belfast Bomber is named because the creator of the concoction, Charles Burke Cronin Oat, supposedly exclaimed the IRA just showed up. This ought to work now! when he was creating the precursor to the Belfast Bomber. He named the original drink where the Belfast Bomber evolved from as the IRA.

The IRA or Irish Republican Army was very famous for using car bombs in the war they fought against Northern Ireland. The IRA used car bomb as a major weapon when they attacked Belfast on July 21, 1972. That attack of the IRA on Belfast is now known as Bloody Friday, because of the many casualties resulting from the 22 car bombs they used. Witnesses and survivors of the car bomb attacks described Belfast as a city under attack, with explosions everywhere, causing panic and covering the city in smoke. That attack was followed by many more bombings during that year. The city of Belfast suffered many loses, and the IRA lost many people in the attack too.

Charles Burke Cronin Oat, an instructor at the Connecticut School of Bartending, came up with the Belfast Bomber in 1979. He originally created the Grandfather while he was preparing drinks for his brothers in his pub called Wilson's Saloon which is located in Norwich, Connecticut. It was St. Patrick's Day of 1977 and they were drinking and toasting to their grandfathers with drinks made up of Bailey's and Kahlua.

After many shots of Grandfather, he decided to add whiskey to the drink since they were looking for something stronger to drink. He grabbed a bottle of Jameson's' whiskey and mixed it with their drinks. That was when he shouted the IRA just showed up. This ought to work now! because the drinks sort of boiled or exploded from their glasses. Other people in the pub were also served with the drink and it was known as the IRA since then.

In 1979, Charles Burke Cronin Oat was having IRAs and Guinness together with his manager, and he had a sudden idea to drop his shot glass of IRA in his half pint of Guinness. Before he dropped the shot glass, he said "Bombs Away! This was when the Belfast Bomber was born. They called it Irish Carbomb when they were drinking with other people.