Simplicity = Destruction

I had a roommate who loved car bombs.  Let’s call him “Patty”.

It started as something he would do at bars, but quickly became a habit he brought home.  Nearly every night of the week for months, Patty was shooting them off in our apartment.

He’d pour some Bailey’s in a shot glass, top with Jameson’s, drop it into a 1/2 pint of Guiness, slug it back and release a rebel yell.  I thought the whole thing was pretty strange, and yes, a little sad.  Didn’t he see that he was his own victim?

Well, Patty is not alone in his liquor/beer concocting, and the Irish Car Bomb is only one variation of perhaps the most famous beer cocktail in history.  Today’s classic cocktail is far from the swanky speakeasies of it’s other brethren.  Ladies and gentleman, I give you the Boilermaker.

Exactly where and when this drink was first concocted, no one knows, but my guess is it predates all the other classic cocktails. Why? Well, quite simply, it doesn’t take a genius or a bar chef to put two and two together.  Beer = drunk.  Liquor shot = drunker.  Beer + liquor shot = drunkest.

The drink is rather simple in it’s creation and can be tricked out in a number of ways to suit the “shooter”.  Feeling a bit refined?  Well, then take the shot of booze, daintily wipe your chin and follow with a hefty swig of your beer.  Feeling randy?  Fill your pint glass halfway with your favorite beer, take the shot (glass and all), drop it into the glass to a resounding crash, shout your mama’s name and slam it back (just watch your two front teeth–they ain’t coming back to you on Christmas morning).

Or, if you’re feeling particularly unrefined, pop open your can of Schlitz, take a big slug, fill it with some of your favorite cheap booze (Early Times can never be beat in this situation) and down the whole concoction.  Glasses are just silly sometimes, aren’t they?

The Irish Car Bomb, I mentioned?  It’s rumored to have been created in 1979 by a bartender at Wilson’s Saloon in Norwich, CT on Saint Patrick’s Day.  He combined the Bailey’s and the Jameson’s into a shot and named it The Godfather.  But it wasn’t until two years later a friend of his dropped it into a pint of Guiness (no doubt, a drunken moment of inspiration).

But the Boilermaker is the original.  Be warned, it may be simple in it’s preparation but deadly in it’s institution.


  • Pint of English Pale Ale
  • Shot of Bourbon or Rye Whiskey


Well, this part is pretty simple.  As you read above, your attack plan is up to you.  Basically, you need to get the ingredients down your gullet.  How you choose to, well that’s where the creativity comes from.

Luckily, Patty eventually kicked this bad habit of his.  But not before leaving a slew of chipped glasses and angry front teeth in his wake.


8 Responses to “Classic Cocktail Tuesdays: The Boilermaker”

  1. JParadisee says:

    I worked for a while in a Brooklyn Irish bar. We actually refused to make car bombs supposedly due to political offensiveness…more likely since they’re annoying to make and can lead to broken glassware. It does tend to be a waste of good Guiness and good whiskey. The most revolting modern twist on this trend has to be the ‘Jaeger bomb’ A shot of Jaegermesister dropped into a half glass of Red Bull. It’s an exponential explosion of unpleasantness.

    I did also watch a young lady take a large chunk out of her front tooth with a car bomb. The torrent of obscenities unleashed while she pummeled her boyfriend for making her do it was secretly very amusing to watch.

  2. Wine Lover says:

    Classic Cocktail Tuesdays: The Boilermaker: I had a roommate who loved car bombs.  Let’s call him “Patty”. It sta…

  3. Patty loved his Irish Car Bombs..then he lost his 2 front teeth. Classic Cocktail Tuesdays gets classy. Read my latest:

  4. Alltop Wine says:

    Classic Cocktail Tuesdays: The Boilermaker

  5. Patty loved his Irish Car Bombs- then he lost his 2 front teeth. Classic Cocktail Tuesdays gets classy. Read my latest:

  6. Ha, spoken like a true gentleman, Jeff. I think all Jager luges should be rounded up and disposed of. Maybe we can convert them to vegetable delivery systems for kids and put them in public schools.

    And Red Bull? Wow, can’t wait to see us look back on that in 20 years. “Seriously? They drank that shit and went clubbing? Savages. Let me guess, they got to the venue by gas-guzzling stretch Hummer?”

  7. Johnnie Walker says:

    David – the sedate version was called the “half ‘n half” back home in west Scotland, but I have no recollection of mothers’ names being mentioned at any point…!

Leave a Reply