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Whisky & Alement’s Hot Brick

The thinking person's cure for seasonal affective disorder. Now with added whisky.

The Whisky & Alement team looks forward to the coming of winter with great eagerness, bar manager Evelyn Liong tells us. "We start our season with a Hot Brick. It's our take on a Hot Buttered Rum, substituting rum with an Islay whisky."

It's guaranteed to dispel chills, she says, and keeps you feeling toastier than a Toddy. "It's our ultimate taste of winter: butterscotch, sweet spice and a hint of campfire rolls in the background. A moreish pick-me-up over the colder months, a great alternative to dessert and well suited to pair with cheese." We're reliably informed it can also be made well ahead and reheated over the stove or even, yes, in the microwave. For a less peaty version, Liong recommends a Balvenie Double Wood in place of the mighty Ardbeg. Whisky & Alement, 270 Russell St, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9654 1284.

In an apéritif glass, mix a 1cm cube of unsalted butter, a heaped teaspoon of brown sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of allspice with 30ml of Ardbeg 10-year-old whisky and boiling water from the kettle to fill. Stir until the butter is completely melted and combined, garnish with a grating of nutmeg and serve piping hot.

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