The holiday season is certainly full of good tidings and cheer and what better way to cozy up with friends and family than with a Holiday Hot Cocoa Bar. Everyone loves a good cup of cocoa but inviting guests to take things up a notch adding on delectable toppings (think crushed candy canes, chocolate sprinkles and lots of whipped cream!) makes it even tastier.
Set the Scene: You’ll need plenty of space to set up your hot cocoa bar. Be sure your table has room for all the mugs, bowls filled with toppings, spoons and of course–the cocoa! Layer your table with linens that hints at all the fun to come. We love the wintry feel of our Let it Snow Table Runner with its subtle snowflakes, or go for a more bold style with the Very Merry Plaid collection. You can use it alone or layer it over one of our plain white table linens for extra coverage.
Gather enough mugs and spoons for each of your guests. We love the idea of using a large, roomy glass mug for this because, once topped, it lends itself for Instagram-worthy moments to share now and treasure in the future. Or, if you prefer a less-mess approach, paper cups in holiday colors are a great alternative. They also lend themselves to labeling so everyone can keep track of their creations
Once you’ve planned for how many toppings you’ll be setting out, gather enough bowls and spoons to serve them with, to accommodate each. Think about using clear, glass prep bowls in the same size to keep the look cohesive and festive. If you’re planning to include aerosol cans of whipped cream, dress them up in festive holiday wrapping paper!
Cocoa Prep: We love the idea of pre-making a big batch ahead of time in a crockpot or even a large quart saucepan on the stove, so you can just heat and go. If this is your plan, lay out a large trivet to rest the pot on, along with a ladle, so you can serve the hot cocoa straight from the table where all the toppings are arranged.
Tasty Toppings: Nothing tops cocoa quite like marshmallows and whipped cream, but for this party, think outside the box and give guests a mix of sizes and flavors to choose from. Crushed candy canes add a minty flavor, while crumbled gingerbread cookies add some holiday crunch, as do bits of toffee, chocolate covered pretzels, and even coarse sea salt for a tasty finish. For the kiddos, think about their favorite ice cream sundae toppings like chocolate cookie crumbles, sprinkles, chopped nuts – even cookie dough bites or gummy worms! For this hot cocoa bar, there are no rules.
Meanwhile, the adults might like a little something to kick up their hot cocoa, so we love the idea of adding in some Bailey’s Irish Creme, peppermint Schnapps or Godiva liqueur.
Finally, have shakers available to finish things off with a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, or chocolate powder, as well as fresh cinnamon sticks for a tasty finish.