Car Bomb Jello Shots Blow Up Your Liver for St. Patrick's Day

For some reason, we humans love to make solid foods liquid, and liquid foods solid. Key Lime Pie Martini? White Russian Ice Cream? I rest my case. Today, in honor of St. Paddy's Day, we're taking three Irish liquids, and making them into one awesome solid.


The result? The best jello shot you'll ever have.

It's Friday afternoon, you've made it through the long week, and it's time for Happy Hour, Gizmodo's weekly booze column. A cocktail shaker full of innovation, science, and alcohol. Top o' the evenin', let's get pissed.

First of all, full credit where credit is due. This recipe is inspired by and based off of a really good idea from the cooking blog 1FineCookie, which you may remember from pizza in a jar. Jasmin over there came up with a recipe for Guinness jello Shots for St. Patrick's Day. They have Guinness-Jello bottoms with Bailey's-Jello foamy heads. They looked absolutely amazing (like tiny Guinnesses... Guinnessii?), but I wasn't thrilled by the flavor or texture and... wait a second. Guinness and Bailey's? Isn't that just one whiskey shy of a car bomb? Yes. Yes, it is. So I got to work tweaking.

After a very long night, I had a recipe that garnered universal approval from my Gizmodo/Gawker lab rats. It is roughly 12-percent alcohol by volume (ABV), with complex layers of flavor, and it still looks delicious. In short, these things are awesome, and they're really easy to make. But first, a dash of history.

For those who don't know, the traditional car bomb drink combines a half-full pint glass of Guinness and a shot glass half-full of Jameson and the half, Bailey's. You drop the shot glass into the pint glass and then chug the whole thing before it curdles. It's sweet and chocolatey and it will fuck you up something proper. But there's another reason it could fuck you up: it may get you punched in the face. Calling this drink an "Irish Car Bomb" offends a lot of people. Asking for it at an Irish bar can get you in some trouble. We didn't want to call this thing a Car Bomb, but if we didn't, you wouldn't have known what we were talking about. We're making it for St. Patrick's Day because it combines three Irish drinks and it tastes great, not because of its stupid name. No offense intended.


Now, let's make these delicious amorphous solid drinks!

Car Bomb Jello Shots

(makes approximately 12)

  • 1 1/4 cups of Guinness Stout
  • 1/2 cup Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 1 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 8 teaspoons (aprox. 4 packets, generally) unflavored gelatin
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • Water

  • Directions:
  • 1. Pour the 1/2 cup of Jameson into a bowl.
  • 2. Sprinkle 4 tsp. (2 packets, generally) of unflavored gelatin onto the whiskey. Let it sit for one minute, and then stir for a minute to help it dissolve.
  • 3. In a separate bowl, pour in 1 1/4 cups of Guinness, then pop it in the microwave for about 80 seconds. Note: microwaves vary greatly in their power levels, so you'll need to adjust it appropriately. You want to get it to about 150 degrees F. You can also do this in a small saucepan, if you prefer.
  • 4. Remove the Guinness from the microwave and add 4 teaspoons of granulated sugar. Stir until sugar is disolved.
  • 5. Combine the hot Guinness with the whiskey/gelatin mixture and stir until gelatin appears completely dissolved.
  • 6. Pour the mixture into shot glasses, filling them roughly 80 percent of the way (leave room for the next phase), then refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm. If you have leftover liquid, pour it into a larger glass.
  • Let's pause here for a second and talk about equipment. If you pour it into a standard shot glass, these things are going to look like tiny pints of Guinness, foamy head and all. It's adorable, and it adds a lot of aesthetic value. Jasmin at 1FineCookie even managed to find tiny beer mug shot glasses with handles, which made these shots stupidly adorable. That said, you're sacrificing convenience for aesthetics, because you'll need an unusually small spoon to dig the shots out. You may want to opt for buy plastic or paper jello shot cups that you can just squeeze into your mouth. I leave that to you. Okay, back to the directions.
  • Once the dark layer has firmed up, start making the top layer.
  • 7. In a bowl, stir to combine a 1/4 cup of cold water with a 1/4 cup of Bailey's Irish Cream.
  • 8. Sprinkle in 4 teaspoons (aprox. 2 packets) of unflavored gelatin. Let stand for one minute then stir until it is well-mixed.
  • 9. Pour in a half cup of boiling hot water and stir until the gelatin is almost entirely dissolved.
  • 10. Add 3/4 cup of Bailey's and stir for another few minutes to ensure everything is dissolved.
  • 11. Take the shot glasses out of the fridge, pour the creamy layer on top of of the dark layer, filling each glass up to the brim, and then put them back in the fridge for another hour or until firm.
  • 12. Congratulations! You just made jello shots which are pleasing, both aesthetically and gastronomically
  • There's a fair amount of alcohol in these (12-percent ABV. Generally 19-percent is about as high as you can go for jello shots, or it won't set), but because they're small you'll probably get full before you get drunk. Then again, there's always room for jello...
  • Jasmin also has a recipe for how to make this with light beer, which you could add a little green food coloring to. Y'know, in case you want to rock tiny, green jelly beers for St. Paddy's day.
  • Enjoy responsibly, have a happy, fun, and safe St. Patrick's Day, and tune in next week for another episode of Happy Hour.
  • Video by Michael Hessian.


'it's just a name, get over it'

Well, mostly i'd agree with sentiments like that, but having lived through the troubles, having bombs going off weekend after weekend, both in England and Ireland, with the troubles in Belfast with the marches and the riots all inter-related, and actually being in a situation where i genuinely feared for my life and the lives of my loved ones, i think a little more understanding would go a long way. It's not a matter of getting over it, you never get over something like that and if there was a drink called the 'columbine cluster-fuck' then i'm sure that anyone related to the tragedy would never find it an acceptable name for a drink. Brent put a note in saying it wasn't meant to cause offence and that's good enough for me, but i understand that for some it isn't and i respect that and you all should too as many people died and many more were left behind and are suffering still, to this day, because of what happened.