Our Holiday Traditions: Warm Mulled Wine (Svařák)
This year more than ever I’ve been thinking about our family traditions. Things that we do year after year that bring joy, spark good memories and remind me how fast our kids are growing up!!
When I first met my husband and we went to Louisiana for the holidays his dad served me their “secret family” Czech warm mulled wine. While I’m not a big sweet wine drinker I immediately fell in love! While the wine is REALLY good it was the family story that went along with the wine that really made me fall in love.
When my husband’s grandfather immigrated to the US from the Czech Republic he had a small family grocery store in Galveston, TX. During the holiday season he would brew this classic Czech warm mulled wine for his customers as they shopped.
Now I’m really not allowed to tell you the EXACT recipe although it’s been changed several times even while my husband and I have been married but here is the idea:
- 1 bottle (1.5 qt) white wine (like a Sauvignon blanc)
- 1.5 bottles (2.25 qt) sweet red wine (like a port)
- 1250 ml Water
- Granulated Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- 1 Orange
- 1/2 lemon
- Whole Cloves
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Shaved Nutmeg (fresh)
Add the wines (mark that liquid level) and then add water to a large pot and put heat on low. Get an old (clean) sock or cheese cloth and stuff all the other ingredients into it. Then allow it to float in the wine.
Yes that’s an old sock in the wine, apparently this is how it’s done in my husband’s family so who am I to question tradition!
My husband has some sort of measuring with the handles of our Calphalon stock pot of how long it has to cook for but essentially you are cooking it back down to just the level of the wine. Before the eyeballing I had a wooden spoon that was marked so many times with sharpie it made me smile every time I used it.
When done the wine is served warm. It can be cooled and bottled and given as gifts (which we have done many, many years).
Recently I found these small glass mugs that are insulated on Amazon and they are perfect! In times past the glass would get too hot or by the last sip it was cold so these have made the experience even better than before.
These also come in a larger size perfect for hot coco, coffee or tea. They also make a great gift.
From our family cheers and happy holiday season!