Is there anything better than a mug of rich hot cocoa festively adored with whipped cream and a candy cane, especially when it’s cold outside? We can think of just one—hosting the most amazing cocoa party for family and friends! This holiday season, the team at Third & Main is sharing our secrets for the ultimate cocoa bar so you can sip and enjoy with your nearest and dearest.
Step One: Gather Your Supplies
Mugs, obviously, are a requirement. We love the feel of a mismatched mugs here, but if you want to keep it consistent (and festive!), check out the hand-painted 12-ounce Santa mugs in our gift shop! Another option? Ask your guests to bring their favorite mug from home. It’s a fun little icebreaker that lets everyone showcase their own personalities.
You’ll also need a big pot to make the hot cocoa and keep it warm. A slow cooker works wonders, but you can also set up a pot on the stove. Just remember to stir it occasionally. Find a recipe (we love this one from the one and only Ina Garten!) or stock up on pre-made cocoa (this one from Williams-Sonoma is divine!) and make sure to whip up a test batch before the party.
Apart from the main attraction, think through serving ware for toppings. Our ceramic Santa candy bowl comes complete with a wooden spoon, so it’s perfect for measuring out the perfect number of mini marshmallows or sprinkles. Part of the fun of a cocoa bar comes from all the options, so lay out a good mix of toppings for people to consider. A few recommendations:
- Classic candy canes
- Peppermint sticks
- Crumbled cookies
- Whipped cream
- Fudge and caramel sauces
- Cinnamon sticks
- Chocolate shavings
- Coarse sea salt
- Crumbled candy bars
- Brownie pieces
- Toffee pieces
- Cocoa powder for dusting
For the adults, consider offering boozy hot chocolate. Rich chocolate pairs beautifully with smooth liquors like brandy, whiskey, cognac, bourbon and dark rum. Liqueurs can also be an option, think Bailey’s or Kahlua.
Step Two: Set Up (The Fun Stuff!)
Think through the best place to set up your cocoa bar. It should be spacious enough for people to cluster. Spills are a possibility, so a room with easily-cleaned floors is wise. Arrange your serving ware and toppings for easy access and appeal. Placement and flow are important, so take your time testing out different arrangements to find what works best. You can keep it simple or dress up your cocoa bar with a little decor. We love these gold decorative pine cones and these real-touch pine stems can be artfully tucked around your serving dishes for a little understated and seasonal style.
Step Three: Enjoy!
When you’ve planned ahead, entertaining is so much more enjoyable. Check out our holiday shop for the perfect accessories for your hot cocoa party. We know you—and all your guests!—are going to have an amazing time.