Tins of hot chocolate lined up in a row

Who makes the best hot chocolate?

Whether you like your cocoa silky smooth, pepped up with fragrant ginger, or prefer a mug of frothy milk chocolate, these are the best hot chocolates to hunker down with this winter

Want to make the perfect hot chocolate using hot chocolate powder? Read on for the best hot chocolates to make at home, and try our toppings ideas here.


What is hot chocolate?

Hot chocolate, also known as drinking chocolate, comes as a powder, flakes or beans, and is mixed with either hot milk or hot water to produce a drink. Sugar is often added as a sweetener, and other flavourings, such as spices and fruit zest, may also be included.

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Best hot chocolate powders

Best instant made with water: Aero Instant Hot Chocolate Tin, £15.99, 2kg, Amazon

Comments: This instant hot chocolate powder has an impressive frothy head and a sweet flavour. It’s not quite as thick as some other chocolates, but it’s an easy one to make at work (or on a camping trip) as it only needs hot water.

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A brown tub with chocolate bubbles on the front

Best classic hot chocolate: Asda Extra Special Fairtrade Indulgent Drinking Chocolate, £2.48, 300g, Asda

Comments: This affordable hot chocolate produces a luxurious drink. The decadent dark chocolate mixed with milk gives a high-quality, creamy finish. Buy this one if you want a classic hot chocolate experience.

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A purple pot with gold lettering on the front

Best cocoa-flavour: Tesco Finest Santo Domingo Hot Chocolate, £2.50, 250g, Tesco

Comments: If you’re after a bittersweet powdered hot chocolate, buy this bargain pot which creates a well-blended drink with a prominent cocoa flavour and smooth mouthfeel.

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A brown tub with silver box and lettering on the front

Best spiced hot chocolate: Divine Fairtrade Spiced Hot Chocolate, £4, 300g, Ocado

Comments: This festive hot chocolate has a silky-smooth texture and fragrant hints of stem ginger and orange. It would be great spiked with a tot of spiced rum!

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A gold tub with white drawings on the front

Best hot chocolate beads

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Dark Hot Chocolate, £3.50, 280g, Sainsbury’s

Comments: With bitter dark chocolate notes, this rich hot chocolate has a smooth mouthfeel and creamy texture. Try pepping it up with a pinch of dried chilli flakes for a grown-up drink this winter.

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A pink tub with purple box on the front

Best hot chocolate flakes

Best for the family: Green and Black’s Fairtrade Organic Hot Chocolate, £3.60, 300g, Ocado

Comments: A great option for children, the well-rounded chocolate flavour mixes well with milk for a homogenised drink. Try topping up with some cream for extra indulgence.

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A dark brown tub with gold lettering on the front

Best luxury hot chocolate: Fortnum and Mason Ultimate Hot Chocolate, £19.95, 300g, Fortnum and Mason

Comments: The high price means this might not be an everyday treat, but these sweet chocolate flakes are rich in flavour, and, when mixed with milk produce an indulgent mug of smooth hot chocolate.

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A white tin with blue lettering on the front

Best thick hot chocolate: Chococo 70% Madagascan Hot Chocolate Flakes, £7.50, 125g, chococo.co.uk

Comments: We love this high-quality chocolate, with the dark, bitter flavours that these flakes are made from. It’d be great made with cream for a thicker, champurrado-style drink.

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A long wooden tube with colourful drawings on the front

Other hot chocolates we tried

Sloane’s Ravishing Rich Dark 57% Hot Chocolate, £10/400g; sloaneshotchocolate.com. Buy now

Bettys Hot Chocolate Caddy, £10/250g; Bettys. Buy now

Charbonnel & Walker The Chocolate Drink Original, £4.55/300g; Waitrose. Buy now

Hotel Chocolat Classic Hot Chocolate 70%, £9//250g; Hotel Chocolat. Buy now

Galaxy Instant Hot Chocolate, £1.69/200g, Amazon. Buy now

Cadbury Original Drinking Chocolate, £2/250g; Ocado. Buy now

Clipper Fairtrade Instant Hot Chocolate, £3.15/350g; Ocado. Buy now

Whittard Luxury Hot Chocolate, £7/350g; Ocado. Buy now

Paul A. Young Aztec Hot Chocolate, £11.50/255g; Paul A. Young. Buy now

If you want to make your own from scratch, try our luxury hot chocolate with mix ‘n’ match toppings here

Luxury Hot Chocolate Recipe

Tasting conducted by Ellie Edwards