A Carbomb is a popular Irish drink, especially around St. Patrick’s Day. It was created in 1979 by Charles B. Oat, retired bartender and current instructor of the CT School of Bartending, where I received my license. During the last class, he always proudly tells his story:
It was a follow up to a shot he created in 1977 on St. Patrick’s Day. The original shot (Bailey’s, Kahlua, and Jameson’s) was called a Grandfather because it was to toast to the many grandfathers in Irish history. Charlie created this famous concoction behind the bar of Wilson’s Saloon, located in Norwich, CT. However, the shot’s name soon changed to “IRA” because as you add the whiskey to the shot of Bailey’s and Kahlua, it bubbles up like an explosion.
In the midst of celebrating St. Patty’s Day at the saloon, and after downing a few shots chased with Guiness, the idea came up to actually drop the shot into the glass of Guinness. “Bombs away!” was the last thing Oat said before he dropped his first shot, giving the drink its new name of “Irish Carbomb” or “Carbomb,” in other company.
For a while, the drink languished in Connecticut but was spread across the United States by the many Navy personnel who frequently visited Wilson’s Saloon. Many years later, the drink became world renown because of the Guinness Corporation’s marketing blitz in the late 80s and early 90s.
Irish or not, it is a fun drink to try.
Here is the recipe:
½ oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
½ oz. Kahlua
½ oz. Jameson’s
Pour into a shot glass. (This is an IRA.)
Serve along with a half-filled pint glass of Guinness.