Dargans’ Irish Coffee

Nik Blaskovich/News-Press
Nik Blaskovich/News-Press

By the time you read this, the World Cup will be nearly over and you’ll have more of an idea about where your teams of interest stand, if they’re standing at all. At the time of visiting Dargan’s after a long absence, all the talk was on Koman Coulibaly, who was responsible for America tying rather than winning their match against Slovenia. “What was that ref thinking?” “He certainly was the villain of the piece.” And so on.

Because of the early hour for many of the matches, both Dargan’s Irish Pub and its neighbor The Press Room have been opening in the early morning. One would think no one gets up to watch a 4 a.m. match downtown, but they do. Dargan’s is not that bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but they have been opening at 7 a.m.

What to drink at 7? How about some Irish coffee? It was 2:30 in the afternoon when we rolled up, so we could only imagine what this drink must be like at the proper time. A stout mix of coffee, Kamora coffee liqueur and a hefty shot of Irish whiskey (your choice, but the well has Irish Manor), this cut wakes you up at the same time it’s tickling your brain with the hair of the dog.

Bartender Peter Conover, who’s been at Dargan’s for two-and-a-half of its dozen years, has been making quite a lot of these lately. With the drink warm in our bellies, we ask Conover what else he can whip up.

A Baby Guinness appears. It’s a little shot glass of Tia Maria topped with a foamy head of Baileys. Ah, lovely. But who’s yer daddy? Oh, that’s right, a large pint of the real Guinness appears to wash it down. However, a “car bomb” style of drinking this combo is not recommended. (And we’re not saying that because we did it.)

Conover chats about the Irish team and how they didn’t make the cut for the World Cup this year. Theories as to why are beyond the scope of this column, but please take them up with Conover, if you dare. While doing so, please try a Black Velvet. It’s not a cocktail per se, but rather a combo of two alcohols, Guinness and Strongbow Cider. If there were a Drink of the Week honorary cocktail award, we’d give it to this black ‘n’ gold fantasy. Guinness is too heavy sometimes, especially on a hot day, so consider this a 50/50 agreement.

The Irish Pirate is a quick shot to wrap things up, with a nice combo of Kilo Kai Spiced Rum from the Netherlands, topped with Baileys. But we’re already thinking of the next game in the World Cup, if only to have another Irish Coffee. Therefore, say hello to our little friend, Drink of the Week.

1 ½ ounce Irish Whiskey
&fra14; ounce Kamora coffee liqueur
4 to 5 ounces brewed coffee
Real whipped cream (try Manufacturer’s cream)

In a glass coffee mug, mix whiskey and liqueur. Top with hot coffee and then the whipped cream.

18 E. Ortega St.
(805) 568-0702

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