Smackdown: Irish Coffee

Cool temps call for warm comforts, and though these two local Irish coffees might not be part of your New Year’s resolution, it’s perfectly OK to cheat a little to experience them. This classic libation is well worth it.

202 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach 949-640-4110,
➤Made in the truest Irish-coffee fashion, the mug is first filled with hot water to warm the glass, so your drink retains the heat. (pictured, $11)
➤With its thick powdered-sugar rim, this version’s extra dose of sweetness is messy, but a detail to love
➤Tullamore Dew triple-distilled Irish whiskey and Gavina coffee are a perfect balance.
➤Identifiably fresh whipped cream is layered on top; it’s thicker in body and quantity than that of Dublin 4’s.

➤Before it’s spiked, a heaping mélange of dark-brown sugar and molasses is placed in the bottom of the traditional mug. ($12)
➤Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey fuels this rich, dark version, and it’s poured with a heavier hand.
➤Mellow, medium-roast espresso bean coffee allows the chosen whiskey to really shine here.
➤A half-inch layer of the silkiest cream greets your lips. The menu lists the drink as “rich as an Irish brogue.”

Both satisfy, but that sweet something extra in Muldoon’s drink gets our vote, along with the pub’s authentic, cozy vibe.

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