Hosting for the holidays or New Years Eve? Warm up your guests and spread instant joy with a fun and festive self-serve hot cocoa bar. Just follow these easy tips from Eddie Ross, co-founder and chief content creator of Maximalist Studios. Cheers!
Find Your Bar
First, you’ll need a home for all your fixings. “Make it work for your house,” says Eddie. “A bar cart makes a nice focal point and is easy for everyone to access. If you don’t have one, a roomy side table works, too.”
Break Out Your Holiday Mugs
“This is the perfect time to use your holiday or vintage mugs,” says Eddie. “If you want to cut down on dishes, use some nice colored paper ones.”
Stock Up On Hot Cocoa Essentials
“Stash powdered hot cocoa mix in a pretty glass jar and keep a spoon,” says Eddie. Use your favorite kind or set out a few different flavors like dark, milk, or white chocolate. MarieBelle has a really great selection of specialty mixes.” For liquid, he recommends keeping a large thermos of hot water on the bar so guests can whip up their own mugs.
Set Out A Few Fun Toppings
Now for the fun part! Grab a few small bowls and set out yummy toppings that’ll make for an Instagram-worthy cup. “Whipped cream is a must,” says Eddie. “I like to make my own because there’s nothing better than homemade whipped cream—I add vanilla extract to mine. Then, set out small bowls filled with marshmallows of different shapes and sizes, colored sugars, and crushed cookies. Crushed up Andes Crème de Menthe mints are delicious.” For sweet final touches, set out caramel and chocolate sauce to drizzle on top and throw candy canes in a mug for guests to use as stirrers.
Add a few different bottles of liqueurs so guests can easily turn their cocoas into adult beverages if they want. Eddie likes Bailey’s Irish cream Liqueur, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, brandy, and whiskey. “You can also brew a pot of strong coffee and mix up some spiked coffee beverages for those who need a caffeine fix,” he says.