It all started with a confession: I love a glass of Guinness beer with a shot of Bailey’s and Jameson dropped inside. For the savvy amongst us, you’ll know I’m talking about an “Irish Car Bomb.”
Being a light drinker at most (a glass of wine or two will suffice most nights out) my love for something that’s known as an intense “party drink” has become somewhat of a running joke amongst friends. (You do have to chug the entire glass before it curdles.)
But there is a reason I opened with a description of the drink rather than naming it outright, and that’s because the root of an “Irish Car Bomb” is insensitive at best and downright unacceptable at worst. Car bombing is a serious issue in Ireland, one that has taken and/or injured the lives of many. It’s traumatizing and serious, and not something that we should be associating with a drink we challenge our friends to on St. Patrick’s Day.
It brought on the realization that there are many other drinks that are just as offensively titled. (The “Red Headed Slut,” anybody?) So we decided to do something about it. Earlier this summer, Maddy Pontz and I sat down to try some of the most politically incorrect drinks we could identify, and then figured out how to rename them for the better.
We’d like to thank our partner in this endeavor, Mulberry Social. We were thrilled to find a restaurant and bar that both served us delicious drinks and were happy to let us in their space to create less embarrassing names for them.
What it’s called: Irish Car Bomb
What we renamed it: The Irish Cloud
What’s in it: Guinness, a shot of Baileys and Jameson
The history: Despite the drink’s wildly insensitive call out to Ireland, this particular cocktail is an American creation. Unsurprisingly, the drink is not actually very popular in the UK and Ireland, where the name makes a mockery of a tragic part of history. And, yet, Brianna enjoys this drink, imbibed by dropping a shot glass of Baileys Irish Cream and Jameson Irish Whiskey into a pint of Guinness, and chugging away before the drink has time to curdle. Clearly, it’s time for a new name.
Why we chose the new name: Just drop a shot of Baileys and Jameson into a pint of Guinness and see what happens… a cloud seems to rise through the drink just as you raise the pint glass to your mouth to chug, reminiscent of the rain clouds so common to Ireland’s climate.
What it’s called: The Leg Spreader
What we renamed it: The Malibu Melon
What’s in it: Melon liqueur, Malibu rum, pineapple juice, and 7Up
The history: To be frank, there’s not much to this offensive name, other than the insinuation that because this cocktail tastes mostly like juice and not liquor, and therefore goes down very, very quickly, well… you can probably fill in the rest.
Why we chose the new name: Honestly, this name is more gross than anything else. But, the thing is: the drink isn’t. It’s actually quite delicious: tropical and fruity, like you should be sipping it on an empty beach somewhere. With its distinct mix of Malibu rum and melon liqueur, why don’t we all just agree to save ourselves some collective cringing and order a Malibu Melon the next time we’re looking for a vacation-inspired libation instead?
What it’s called: The Red Headed Slut
What we renamed it: The Red Headed There’s No Such Thing As A Slut
What’s in it: Jägermeister, peach-flavored schnapps, and cranberry juice
The history: Though the official record seems to be a bit lacking on the strangely “naughtily”-named shots first popularized in the 1980s, word on the street (a.k.a, a 2009 Washington Post article entitled “Reincarnating the Buried 'Redheaded' Shot”) is that this drink can be served as a cocktail or a shot. Either way, the drinker is supposed to finish the entire beverage in one gulp.
Why we chose the new name: As two women who have both been called and self-identify as radical feminists, this name is a huge red flag (pun not intended this time). No, we’re not buying into the social construct of sluttiness, and no, we’re not degrading women just to order a cocktail. Sure, the new name is a bit of a mouthful, but it definitely seems worth it to us.
What it’s called: The Slippery Nipple
What we renamed it: Liquid Licorice
What’s in it: Baileys Irish Cream and sambuca, splash of cherry juice or a cherry for garnish
The history: The Slippery Nipple is a layered shot, in which you precariously balance a layer of Baileys on top of a pour of sambuca. You then shoot the drink, mixing everything together in your mouth. According to The Most Trusted Source On The Internet (a Wikipedia page) the shot was invented in the same decade as many of the most innuendo-laden cocktails: the 1980s. Apparently, “actress Asra Arif and Penny Lane of Queens” (though it is a bit unclear who, exactly, these two women are) thought up the drink while designing a Halloween costume that involved – you guessed it – a rubber nipple.
Why we chose the new name: Thanks to the sambuca in the drink, this shot has a strong licorice taste. It’s almost overpowering, to be frank. If you’re a fan of the candy, this is the drink for you. If not, perhaps steer clear of this sip of pure liquid licorice.