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Crafting the Perfect Hot Cocoa Bar

When the weather outside is frightful, a hot cocoa bar will make your event delightful. Whether you're hosting a gaggle of kids or your grandmother and her friends, everyone will love the chance to create their perfect cup of cocoa. Here's how to build a perfectly chocolatey experience for your favorite people.

Step One: The Cocoa - That's why everyone is here, right? If you're building a hot cocoa bar, you need to have a way to serve lots of hot cocoa quickly. Fortunately you have a few options:

  • Hot Cocoa Mix: This is quick, easy, and really lets your guests take care of themselves. Set out packets of hot cocoa mix along with a kettle of hot water or a crock pot full of warmed milk. Take it a step further by offering different flavors of hot cocoa (peppermint is a favorite around here).
  • Keurig: Want things to be even easier? Set out a keurig and a collection of cups. All your guests will have to do is pop one in, press a button, and watch as their hot cocoa makes itself. Easy.
  • Crock Pot: This one is the most work for the host, but if you're serious about hot cocoa it's absolutely worth it. Use your go-to recipe, or discover a new favorite here! Make it up a couple of hours beforehand and your guests will smell what's coming as soon as they walk in the door. 

Step Two: The Cups - The size and demographics of your guests will do most of the deciding for you when it comes to choosing your drinkware. A small group of close friends? Set out your favorite personal mugs. A raucous holiday crowd? Grab disposable hot drink cups (with lids!). A group of young kids? Big, well-insulated cups will give you plenty of room for add-ins and minimize the chances of singed fingers. 

Step Three: The Toppings - This is what we're all here for and you know it. The sky is absolutely the limit when it comes to what you set out for your guests to add into their hot cocoa. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Marshmallows (mini or humongous)
  • Whipped cream
  • Peppermint sticks
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Caramel sauce
  • Sprinkles
  • Chopped nuts
  • Pretzel rods

Make sure to set each item out in shatterproof cups or another unbreakable holder to make sure nothing gets broken as your guests go in for their favorite toppings.

Step Four: The Other Toppings - Want to add a little extra spice to your hot cocoa bar? We recommend setting out Irish Cream, Amaretto, Spiced Rum, Kahlua, or even a bottle of red wine. Encourage your guests to add a splash to their mugs before they add toppings to make sure their cocoa looks as good as it tastes. 

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