When temperatures fall and there’s a crisp chill in the air, it’s the perfect time to host a coffee and hot chocolate bar! Here’s our party planning guide to help you create a cozy cocktail party. Remember, celebrate responsibly…and warmly.
Black coffee is ideal for creating a coffee bar. Start with a neutral base and allow guests to flavor with a variety of additions displayed on your bar. It’s also a good idea to put the coffee in a carafe for easy grabbing and pouring. A single serve coffee maker (like a Keurig) will only work if you’re entertaining two or three people. If you have several party goers, stick to a full-size coffee maker—otherwise, your party could look something like Black Friday.
HOT CHOCOLATE OR HAUTE CHOCOLATE
You can go really simple with a pre-made mix, or make your hot cocoa from scratch. Here is a recipe for a classic, homemade cocoa. It’s a family batch recipe that serves four full mugs. It’s great for serving a gathering and can be easily doubled.
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa
⅓ cup hot water
2 cups whole milk
2 cups half and half
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix sugar, cocoa, and salt in a large saucepan, stir in water. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils; boil and stir 2 minutes. Stir in dairy and heat, do not boil. Remove from heat, add vanilla.
Make it easy on yourself and your guests by setting up a self-serve station. This allows guests to try as many flavor combinations as they would like, and it gives you more time to mingle.
What to include in your hot beverage bar:
Carafes of coffee and cocoa (keeps them nice and toasty all night long)
Water pitcher and cups – it’s important to stay hydrated!
Half and half
Chocolate sprinkles or chips
Cinnamon or cinnamon sticks
Candy canes or peppermints
Caramel and/or hot fudge syrup
Spirits picks recommended by our celebration specialists:
Rock Town Bourbon Cream
Five Farms Irish Cream
Godiva Chocolate Liqueurs
Plantation Spiced Rum
Rumple Minze Peppermint Liquor (perfect for peppermint hot chocolate)
There are SO many choices when it comes to marshmallows. You can go mini or gigantic, flavored or traditional, homemade or store bought.
Cookies: gingersnaps and sugar are two of our favorites.
Salty snacks: snacks like popcorn and trail mixes generously sprinkled with salt are a great pairing for sweet beverages; the salt really brings out chocolate flavors.
Coffee cake: Self explanatory – the perfect pairing with coffee!
CREATE A THEME
Nothing adds to a party like a theme! Incorporate the theme into the mugs you select, the flavors, the decorations and the invitations. The sky is the limit with different themes, but the little touches are sure to wow your guests.
Include lots of snowy imagery in your décor. Perfect for the Holidays.
Create a cozy birthday party or New Year’s Day gathering with a chocolate and coffee bar.
BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
Put a warm and wonderful spin on a baby shower or sip and see.