By Sacha Delfosse

A café in Sydney's Surry Hills has introduced a comprehensive Scotch whisky selection as the first step towards opening a new whisky bar in the adjoining building.

World of Whisky ambassador, Dan Woolley, has partnered with Gnome Espresso and Wine Bar owner Simon Triggs, to begin "softening people up to whisky" through the café before Woolley’s long-awaited whisky bar, Arcane opens.

"This is basically phase one of Arcane, which will be opening in the space next to Gnome by late January or early February," Woolley said.

The café has started serving alcohol from 5pm to 10pm everyday, which has been well-received by customers, with whisky sales exceeding expectations.

"I find that this venue is very much like a Parisian style café – where you can get very great coffee and food for breakfast, lunch and dinner but there is also alcohol available. It's very much a cosmopolitan way of eating and drinking," Woolley said.

The whisky list includes single malts from Dalmore, Ardbeg, Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, Talisker, Bruichladdich, Isle of Arran and Laphroiag, with each being showcased as a 'whisky of the week' in a rotating manner.

The café has two whisky cocktails on the menu, the Glenmorangie-based 'New Jack Iced Tea' and an Old Fashioned twist called the 'Jimmy MacTaggart', made with Isle of Arran single malt that is stirred over hand-chipped ice with orange bitters and a dark cocoa mist.

The kitchen has created several dishes that use whisky such as Oysters Kilpatrick served with smoky Ardbeg on top (pictured), which has sold out every night since they were introduced to the menu.

Gnome will also be adding Negronis and Aperol Spritz to the drinks list, for those customers who don’t want to drink whisky, as well as working on creating a few new cocktails that will combine whisky and coffee together.

The Shout Team

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