Coal

Hot as a coal. The expression has an obvious allusion

To post the coal
or cole To pay or put down the cash. Coal=money has been in use in the sporting world for very many years. Buxton, in 1863, used the phrase “post the coal,” and since then it has been in frequent use. Probably rhyming slang “Coal,” an imperfect rhyme of gool =gold. (See page 248, Chivy and page 266, Coaling)

“It would not suit me to write, ... even if they offered, ..., to post the cole.” —Hood.

Coal Brandy
Burnt brandy The ancient way to set brandy on fire was to drop in it a live or red-hot coal.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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