Ideas for "Cozy" birthday evening
November 17, 2019 4:52 PM   Subscribe

Hi! Next weekend I'm having a cozy night in for my birthday with some friends. I am having a lovely hot stew, homemade bread, a cocoa bar, & a fire. I would like 1) ideas for making things feel cozier, & 2) ideas for things to include in the cocoa bar that are yummy. Thanks!
posted by fairlynearlyready to Grab Bag (23 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
Fuzzy socks or slippers for everyone! Plus lots of blankets.
posted by platypus of the universe at 5:02 PM on November 17, 2019 [5 favorites]


This sounds like the ultimate cozy night! Maybe include some candles scattered around the room. Blankets for people to cozy up with? Slippers for people to wear?

Ah, jinx!
posted by sucre at 5:04 PM on November 17, 2019 [1 favorite]


Candles with wooden wicks make a crackling noise like a log fire, if you want even more fire-related coziness. Warm LED fairy lights would be nice, too.

And yes, lap blankets, lap blankets everywhere!

Cocoa bar:
vanilla, almond, peppermint (extracts/oils/sugar syrups)
heavy cream
chocolate shavings
whipped cream
chocolate spoons
peppermint sticks
fancy marshmallows (and a creme brulee torch??)
stroopwaffels for putting on top

This sounds like the best birthday party EVER.
posted by wintersweet at 5:12 PM on November 17, 2019 [3 favorites]


Oh that sounds lovely!

For the cocoa bar, I'd put out some whipped cream, mini marshmallows, chocolate shavings and crushed candy canes for toppings, and a few flavored syrups (raspberry, hazelnut, peppermint, etc). Also possibly some coffee or espresso for people who like mochas.

I might have to swipe your idea myself. How fun!
posted by ananci at 5:14 PM on November 17, 2019 [3 favorites]


Candy canes are the proper way to add peppermint, and they come in other flavors, too.
Does everyone eat dairy?
Do you use alcohol? Coffee brandy or Kahlua is great in cocoa, or bourbon.
Real whipped cream.
Cider, cold, or hot with a cinammon stick. Microwave makes it easy.
Maybe some decaf/ herbal tea; cocoa is very rich.
Long barbecue forks or kebab skewers for toasting marshmallows.

It's easy to find small butter warmers - a ceramic dish on a base where you put a candle to keep butter warm for lobster. You can keep chocolate warm with a tea light and dip fruit.
posted by theora55 at 5:43 PM on November 17, 2019 [1 favorite]


Truly brilliant! You mentioned homemade bread and I just want to be sure that toast will be available. Two cozy favorites are crunchy cinnamon-sugar and lemon curd with butter. Happy birthday!
posted by dreamphone at 6:09 PM on November 17, 2019


How about some cozy movies or netflix shows, and board games?
posted by watrlily at 6:21 PM on November 17, 2019


Wintry music! (Let us know if you need suggestions for playlist)

A pine/fir branch
posted by estlin at 6:32 PM on November 17, 2019


Storytelling.
Ask each other questions (a la The Book of Questions or something similar).
Read poetry to each other.

Also: leave all devices in a bowl at the door when you arrive.
posted by scorpia22 at 7:04 PM on November 17, 2019 [5 favorites]


Make it a pajama party? Honestly the thing I love most about my chosen family is that our ideal group activity is everybody in pjs on the couch. It’s the best.
posted by zebra at 8:15 PM on November 17, 2019 [3 favorites]


No overhead lighting (unless yours works on a dimmer.) Instead, bring in whatever desk/table lamps you've got.

Cocoa bar: have different kinds of booze to add. Whiskey, orange liqueur, brandy, mint schnapps, kahlua...
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:54 PM on November 17, 2019


Heated electric blankets!!!!! I had a heated blanket hang recently. The hot blanket was piled onto the ottoman and everyone tucked their feet into it- absolutely divine / divan. They’re about $50 at big box stores and they are life altering. Look for “micro plush” or “mink” texture as they stay silky soft forever and hold up to machine washing. Avoid fleece, polar fleece, micro fleece, or Sherpa as they get pilly and gross really fast! Electric blankets don’t last forever so don’t break the bank. I use mine every day from October to May, and I expect to buy at least one per year.

Use small white incandescent Xmas lights, placed below seated eye level, as your lighting. Put up your Xmas tree early with just lights, no ornaments, if you celebrate Xmas.

Toast marshmallows under the broiler (place on a cookie sheet and broil for a couple of well-watched minutes) to put on the cocoa.

What a nice idea!
posted by nouvelle-personne at 9:03 PM on November 17, 2019 [2 favorites]


Cinnamon is great in cocoa and/or on the whipped cream on top of cocoa.

Gingerbread [things] that everyone can make or decorate together - people, stars, dinosaurs, etc.
posted by current resident at 9:19 PM on November 17, 2019 [1 favorite]


I love to put cardamom in my cocoa. I've done so by just putting a couple shakes of ground cardamom on top, or by folding a little into whipped cream, or once I infused the milk with whole cardamom pods and then strained it and that was awesome.
posted by Mizu at 10:04 PM on November 17, 2019


I absolutely love this idea! I need to remember it for my birthday!! You could serve chocolate brownies to eat with the cocoa.
posted by EatMyHat at 10:15 PM on November 17, 2019


If you want an alternative to cocoa you could make mulled wine.
posted by EatMyHat at 2:34 AM on November 18, 2019


More alcohol suggestions, if y'all drink: peppermint schnapps, Frangelico, Irish cream, Chambord, praline liqueur... now I want to be invited too!
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:25 AM on November 18, 2019 [2 favorites]


All the bartenders I know here love Green Chartreuse for cocoa, but at up to $70/bottle (depending on local variables) it's an expensive thing to find out you don't like.
posted by fedward at 8:28 AM on November 18, 2019


Came to say Frangelico if you drink.

For a non-boozy suggestion, I like cinnamon in my hot cocoa. Or instant coffee, for a quick mocha.
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:39 AM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


Don't forget something zingy and tangy and fresh to offset all the dark warm flavors. Pickles or coleslaw or something with some zip to cut through the umami and heavy dark flavors you got going on.
posted by ian1977 at 12:32 PM on November 18, 2019


Don't forget something zingy and tangy and fresh to offset all the dark warm flavors. Pickles or coleslaw or something with some zip to cut through the umami and heavy dark flavors you got going on.
posted by ian1977 at 3:32 PM on November 18 [+] [!]

hot cocoa topped with a veritable island of cool whip, sprinkled with pomegranate seeds
posted by FirstMateKate at 1:37 PM on November 18, 2019


There's a coffee chain here in Korea that makes hot cocoa with coconut milk and it is a game changer.
posted by FakePalindrome at 4:49 PM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


Thank you everyone for all the great ideas! The party is tonight and I shall update with all the things I did. You folks rock.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 7:51 AM on November 23, 2019


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