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An Ode to Hot Cocoa: Hot Chocolate Bar Ideas, Tips, and Edible Gifts

Hot Chocolate Bar

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Hot chocolate is one of those nostalgic treats that have stayed a staple on snowy winter days since childhood. In fact, the forever-favorite warm drink can be traced back to 500 BC in Mexico. That’s over 2,500 years of scrumptious hot cocoa! With the holidays coming up faster than ever and so many get-togethers planned with loved ones, what better time is there to chat over a delicious mug of hot chocolate? Picture this: A cozy fireplace burning in the living room, the radio playing your favorite holiday songs, all while your closest friends and family gather around a homemade hot chocolate bar plopping whipped cream, sweet peppermint sticks, and gooey marshmallows into their mugs.

There are so many fun ways to decorate your tabletop or bar cart to create a hot chocolate bar. Adding garlands, festive mugs, or flocked miniature trees alongside your array of hot chocolate favors can create a festive focal point in your kitchen or gathering area. Here at DrewandJonathan.com, we take our cocoa game quite seriously. If you’re on the same page, we have tons of fabulous hot chocolate bar ideas to share for your next holiday gathering, whether it’s a big soiree or holiday mornings with the family. It may be cold outside, but you can definitely stay warm next to a cup of hot cocoa and some wonderful people. Cheers!

Hot Chocolate Bar Tips and Inspiration

Make It Merry

We love a good excuse to add special seasonal touches to everyday places around the house. And boy, is winter the perfect time to do so! Even adding something as simple as winterberries or ornaments to your hot chocolate display will bring all the more holiday cheer.

Add Your Personality

There are a ton of trendy ideas out there to inspire you, but your hot cocoa party is your own! Tap into your creativity and play around with decor and hot cocoa accompaniments. (One of our spice-loving editors swears by adding chili powder to her cup!)

Keep It Functional

When creating your hot chocolate cart, it might be easy to go overboard on the decor and neglect the essentials. Be sure to leave some room for the mugs, hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, whipped cream, and any other yummy additions.

Hot Chocolate Bar Decorations

Decorating your bar or sideboard is, of course, the most exciting part of prepping your tablescape for the hot chocolate festivities. We recommend starting with a pre-lit garland or faux snow, and then spacing out a few glittery trees or decorative village houses (think a winter scene like the one you might put below the tree or atop the mantel). You can also hang a hot cocoa bar sign above the bar to direct guests to their soon-to-be favorite place in the house.

Hot Chocolate Bar Must-Haves

Here’s where we get down to business: the necessities. The yummy chocolate mixes and marshmallows are, of course, the most important part of this party, but matching jars, creative stirrers, and functional mug stands will make your hot cocoa bar go from fun to fabulous. Hot tip: WECK jars are one of the most highly-rated food storage containers on the market (not to mention some of the cutest!) so they’re perfect for keeping your marshmallows and chocolate chips fresh.

Best Hot Cocoa Mugs

Seasonal touches don’t have to begin and end with your typical holiday decor. A festive mug (a wonderful example of form-meets-function!) is a great way to boost the holiday spirit while still making sure that the items along your bar cart are useful. We love the snowman stacking mugs from Kohl’s because of their ability to maximize your bar space as well as add a bit of cheerfulness.

Editor-Approved Hot Cocoa Gifts

Whether it’s a sweet party favor from you as the hostess or a gift to the entertainer whose throwing this epic hot chocolate party, these gifts are both seasonal and appropriate for your event. Plus, if there’s a chocolate-lover in your life, these can also make the perfect white elephant gift! The Oaxacan cocoa gift set from Verve Culture is a beautiful ode to hot chocolate’s history, while the St. Nicholas Square cookie jar is an adorable keepsake they can use each year.

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