Looking for a way to break up the dull days of winter? A few hot cocoa bar ideas are sure to spice things up!
A hot chocolate bar can be customized to fit any party or occasion. And it’s a great way to show your staff, students or team members some appreciation.
Keep reading for a list of ingredients and essential supplies to make your cocoa bar extra special! Also, look for a few great hot cocoa bar ideas to keep your self-serve party clean and inviting.
What do you need for a hot chocolate station?
It doesn’t cost a fortune to create a DIY hot cocoa bar. Here are a few easy and affordable hot cocoa bar ideas:
A high-quality table cover will add elegance and a professional touch to your cocoa bar. I recommend using a custom tablecloth from Totally Promotional with your company name or organization printed on the front. This lets everyone know who is sponsoring this happy event.
A personalized tablecloth is a great investment since it can be used for future events, too. All of our tablecloths are made with a liquid-repellent material for easy cleanup.
Tip: A 6-foot table cover will also fit an 8-foot table!
Paper cups and mugs
Customized paper cups or Styrofoam cups are low-cost items for serving hot cocoa and branding. A popular option is our 12 oz. Paper Cups with Lids. You can order as few as 12.
Businesses often order Paper Coffee Sleeves for added protection from hot beverages and a firmer grip on the cup.
If you’re looking to reward or gift your group, now is the perfect time to give them customized mugs! Our bestseller is the 13 oz. Ceramic Campfire Mug.
Napkins and stirrers
Keep everyone and everything a little cleaner with napkins. Personalized cocktail napkins are a good choice for a hot cocoa station. They measure 3-inches-by-3-inches — the perfect size for a food or drink bar.
Your guests can use plastic spoons or straws to stir in toppings or you can take it up a notch! A quick search online shows numerous options including stirrers coated with peppermint, chocolate and other flavorings.
Hot cocoa mix
Hot cocoa is the star of this show so make sure it’s heavenly! I recommend using individual instant cocoa packets to avoid sharing germs. This also helps keep your hot cocoa table much cleaner.
Top hot cocoa brands:
- Land O Lakes® Cocoa Classics Chocolate Supreme Cocoa Mix
- Williams Sonoma Classic Hot Chocolate
- Starbucks® Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix
- Godiva® Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa
- Nestle® Rich Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa
- Swiss Miss® Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa
Hot water dispenser
If you’re serving just a few people, a Keurig machine with individual K-Cups in a variety of flavors might be your best choice.
However, for larger crowds it’s best to use hot water urns or other hot beverage dispensers with “keep warm” functions. Position the dispenser on the table so cups and mugs easily fit beneath the spigot faucet.
Toppings for hot chocolate
The list of hot cocoa toppings seems endless! Consider putting your favorite toppings in mason jars with identification labels or tags.
Here are a few of the most popular hot chocolate toppings:
- Mini marshmallows
- Whipped cream
- Crushed peppermint candy
- Chocolate candies or shavings
- Finely chopped salted nuts
- Hershey® Kisses or Hugs
- Toffee bits
- Pretzel rods
- Cinnamon sticks
- Toasted coconut
- Dark chocolate syrup
- Maraschino cherries
- Caramel sauce
- Pumpkin spice
- Orange Zest
- Pepperidge Farm Pirouette® cookies
Tip: Don’t forget scoops or spoons for your self-serve toppings!
Every great cocoa bar needs a charming sign! The type of signage you choose will greatly depend on the space you have. A few hot cocoa bar sign options include:
- Free-standing chalkboards
- Wooden photo frames
- Poster boards or canvas
- Customized retractable banner stands (floor length or tabletop styles)
- Hanging banners
Use fairy lights or other festive lighting to add magic and mystery to your hot chocolate station. Carefully string the lights around your sign and/or along the edges of your hot cocoa table. Be sure they are secure and do not get in the way when guests are helping themselves.
Cold weather often means colds and other illnesses are circulating. Place a bottle or two of custom hand sanitizer on your hot cocoa table as a reminder to clean hands before serving.
Warm up with these hot cocoa bar ideas!
I hope these tips help you create a hot cocoa bar everyone will enjoy. It only takes a few simple ingredients and decorations. How do I know? We recently had a hot cocoa bar for employees at Totally Promotional. We loved it so much it became a two-day event!
I hope these hot cocoa bar ideas make your event as successful as ours. Don’t forget to order your custom-printed supplies today.