Any excuse for a party is good by me. Hallmark holiday… Is there drinking involved? I’m in! Holidays that have no relevance to me… Is there drinking involved? I’m in! Celebrating a landmark occasion in another nation’s history, warping it to fit our own cultural ends… Is there drinking involved? I’m in!
St. Paddy’s Day definitely fits in to the latter category. The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held not in Ireland at all, but in New York in the 1760’s (by Irish immigrants at least!). Over in Ireland the bars were closed in respect for what WAS a somber religious holiday. That didn’t start changing until the 1970s. I disregard this cultural incongruency, as I disregard the incongruencies of celebrating occasions that have no relevance to me, nor any real relevance at all. I like to celebrate, hang out with friends, drink, dance and laugh the night (or day, whenever) away. I don’t feel that this is causing cultural damage, so I’m ok with it.
Where my qualms come in to play is with the celebration of a horrific event in another culture. Case in point, the Irish Car Bomb. Invented in 1979 by bartender Charles Burke Cronin Oat (say that 3 times fast) at Wilson's Saloon Norwich, CT. Charles said that he got the "crazy idea as [he was] toasting to drop the shot (an IRA shot- Jameson, Baileys, and Kahlua) in [his] half finished Guinness." The drink was an immediate hit and Navy personnel that frequented the bar spread the ICB across America like a communicable disease. With the concurant marketing blitzes by both Guinness and Jameson in the late 80's and early 90's, this drink became a cocktail icon and bar staple.
On one hand it is the delicious (yeah, I said it. Delicious. Fancy mixology aside, it is pure delicious hedonism) beverage slammed by incautious party animals nationwide to help facilitate both a good time and worshiping of the porcelain god. On the other hand, it’s a devastating weapon of terrorism that killed people and destroyed lives over many decades during fighting between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland. On July 21st, 1972 “Bloody Friday” was the worst of many car bomb attacks. Nineteen were exploded across Belfast, killing 9 people, wounding 130. WooHoo!
So how about this. Let’s STOP calling it an Irish Car Bomb, lets START calling it… I don’t know. A “Best Worst Idea”? A “Paint the Walls”? I’m open to suggestions. By the way, I’m far from the first person to voice this particular concern. Many conscientious imbibers have raised this call to action, but it hasn’t gained much traction.
Anyway, after all this blabber, time for a recipe! Today you get a two for one, both the aforementioned beverage, and Homemade Irish Cream.
The Cocktail That Shall Not Be Named (☘️🚘💥)
Half a pint glass Guinness
A shot glass half full of Jameson, half full of Bailey’s Irish Cream
Drop the shot glass into the pint. Raise to your lips and chug fast, you want it to curdle in your stomach not the glass.
Homemade Irish Cream (cause sometimes you want to be fancy when sloshing around)
2 oz Irish Whiskey (I prefer Powers for this recipe)
1 oz Demerara Syrup*
1 oz Heavy Cream
Dash Chocolate Bitters
4 drops Orange Blossom Water
Shake with ice, strain in to a rocks glass. Serve neat or over ice. Or with Coffee. Or Ice Cream. Or mixed with Whiskey in a shot glass and dropped into a half full glass of Guinness.
2 parts Demerara or “Raw” sugar
1 part water
Combine in a pan over medium high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved.