A Morning Draft

Wintertime in the Midwest demands a warm breakfast. Waiting for your oatmeal to boil is a life-and-death situation, almost. You feel like Shackleton watching the sun come and crack the ice. Sometimes more so, if you have errands to run and left the car out of the garage.

Seventeenth-century drinker and diarist Samuel Pepys preferred a pint and some gossip to morning oatmeal—he took his breakfast at the bar. But come winter, even he took it warm. With butter.

So meeting in my way W. Swan, I took him to a house thereabouts, and gave him a morning draft of buttered ale; he telling me still much of his Fanatique stories, as if he were a great zealot, when I know him to be a very rogue.

Buttered beer isn’t my cup of tea, so to speak, so I mulled it. The nutmeg is perfect—beer gets bitterer, boiled, and you need some spice to mellow it. Just go easy. You have a long, cold day ahead.