You Shouldn't Order These Drinks In Ireland

Ireland is one of the most popular travel destinations. According to Planet Ware, 11 million people descend upon the Emerald Isle each year to visit castles, eat soda bread, and sample their famous black and white pudding. But why Ireland? Is it the rich history of this beautiful land that attracts so many visitors? Or, maybe it's the rich folklore combined with traditional Irish music and dance that makes this place so hypnotic? Or could it be the pubs and all that Irish stout to be sampled that has people flocking to a country that has given us the likes of Liam Neeson, U2's Bono, Pierce Brosnan, W.B. Yeats, and James Joyce?

Whatever the reason, if you ever do get the chance to visit this enchanted place and find yourself in Dublin at the top of O'Connell Street and decide to stop in at the famous Murray's Bar & Grill to wet your parched whistle — or you've been shopping on Grafton Street and decide to take a detour to McDaid's pub on Harry Street — there are a couple of alcoholic beverages that you should never ask the bartender to make lest you want to cause a ruckus. While these drinks are well-known, ordering them would be a tremendous faux pas and may leave you without that tasty sip you were hoping to enjoy — here's why.

Instead of a Black And Tan, order a Half and Half instead

If you are unfamiliar with the drink known as a Black and Tan, per Vine Pair, it's a Guinness layered on top of Bass ale (and also an American go-to on St. Patrick's Day). While conventional wisdom might make you believe the lighter looking ale is the lighter beer, it's actually the opposite. The darker Guinness is the lighter brew, which allows for the cool two-toned effect.

It's a yummy drink, but to call it a Black and Tan is offensive as the phrase has a totally different meaning in Ireland. According to Keg Works, Black and Tan was a moniker given to the British paramilitary force who used some vicious and "brutal tactics" to quell the Irish Independence movement in the early 1920s. The force's uniform consisted of "khaki military trousers and darker police uniform shirts," which is precisely where the term found its origins. Thus, "black and tan" is seen as a derogatory phrase in Ireland and should be avoided at all costs. 

Instead, Keg Works suggests that you can still enjoy the layered drink, by simply ordering a "Half and Half" as it's commonly called, and doing so won't raise eyebrows at a bar in Ireland or anywhere else for that matter. But there's one more drink you should avoid ordering up if you are at a bar in Ireland.

The Irish Car Bomb is too closely tied to a devastating event

The Black and Tan isn't the only drink name to cause offense — you should also skip ordering an Irish Car Bomb cocktail if you are at a watering hole in Ireland. As Eater points out, the drink is not even an Irish invention. It was actually created in the '70s at a saloon in Connecticut. It starts with a half pint of Guinness with a shot glass with equal parts Jameson Irish Whiskey and Baileys Irish Cream dropped into the ale glass. The article shares that the name is a reference to the foamy stout "explosion" that happens when you "drop the shot glass into the Guinness." 

But, let's face it, any drink name with the word "bomb" in it is probably questionable. In the case of the Irish Car Bomb, some believe it too closely references the Irish Republican Army's attack on Northern Ireland in 1972 in when more than 20 car bombs were planted and went off in Belfast, a date known as Bloody Friday. To compare, Eater says, "Many equate it to someone inventing a 9/11-inspired depth charge called 'Flaming Twin Towers' or 'Manhattan Ground Zero' and ordering one of those in New York." 

One Florida brewery found themselves at another epicenter of controversy in 2015 when, in a St. Patrick's Day promotion, they named their ale the "Car Bomb Stout," according to News-Press. It was not well-received and people took to social media to voice their disapproval. The brewery apologized and donated $2,500 to the American Red Cross to make amends. 

So, when you are in Ireland and want to drink like the Irish, skip all the drinks with questionable names. Instead, order a pint of their best stout and enjoy.