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Irish Shot

hand holding a shot glass over a pint of Guinness to make an Irish Shot / Tim Nusog

The Irish Shot is a 1979 invention that quickly took off in Irish pubs and other bars around the U.S. It was first created by Charles Burke Cronin Oat, the former owner of Wilson’s Saloon in Norwich, Connecticut.

The Irish Shot is a popular drink for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy this fun beer-and-a-shot combination all year long. The Irish Shot is a type of Boilermaker, a style of drink in which a shot of liquor—usually whiskey—is dropped into a beer. But in this case, the shot is a two-part mixture of whiskey and Irish cream.

To make the Irish Shot, you’ll need three ingredients: Irish whiskey, Baileys Irish cream and Guinness. The whiskey and Irish cream are combined in equal portions in the same shot glass, and then dropped into a half-full glass of Guinness. It works best to add the cream to the shot glass first, and then slowly layer the whiskey on top.

It’s rarely a good idea to chug anything, but the Irish Shot is an exception, as it benefits from quick consumption. That’s because the Irish cream will react with the acidic beer and begin to curdle if allowed to sit for more than a few seconds. And nobody wants curdled cream in their drink.

While the above method is the traditional way to serve an Irish Shot, some people skip the shot glass entirely and simply mix all three ingredients in the glass. The visual effects are less impressive, and you lose the excitement factor of dropping a shot into the beer, But it’s less messy and tastes the same.

The Irish Shot originally bore the name Irish Car Bomb. Over the years, the controversial and offensive name has been stripped from marketing campaigns and, while still part of the cultural lexicon, has begun to fade. These days, it’s never advised to order the drink by its original name, particularly if you’re in Ireland.


Watch Now: How to Make an Irish Shot


  • 1/2 ounce Irish whiskey

  • 1/2 ounce Baileys Irish cream

  • Guinness beer


  1. Add the Baileys and whiskey into a shot glass, pouring slowly to create a layered effect.

  2. Drop the shot into a pint glass filled half to three-quarters with the Guinness. Drink immediately.