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Best Overall: Ghirardelli Hot Cocoas at Amazon
"The mix includes both cocoa powder and tiny chocolate pieces to create a truly rich and complex beverage."
"The decadent drinking chocolate mix is a combination of rare red-Dutch process cocoa powder and ground chocolate."
Best Quick-Dissolving: Williams-Sonoma Sweet Ground Chocolate at williams-sonoma.com
"It’s just as flavorful as other varieties but takes a fraction of the time to prepare."
Best Sugar-Free: Lakanto Sugar-Free Drinking Chocolate at Amazon
"It’s friendly to a wide variety of specialized diets, including keto, paleo, and vegan."
"Taza makes a drinking chocolate to suit just about every taste."
"The ultimate choice for the 'purists' of the bunch."
Best Dark Chocolate: Cacoco Drinking Chocolate, 80% Extra Dark Chocolate at thrivemarket.com
"When you like your chocolate as dark as can be, Cacoco is the way to go."
Best Liquid: Cholaca Original Drinking Chocolate at Amazon
"With this product, drinking a rich, creamy chocolate beverage is as easy as opening the lid and pouring out a taste."
Can’t get enough chocolate? You’ve got to try drinking chocolate—the more elaborate, richer, creamier, and full-flavored relative of hot cocoa. It’s the ultimate warm treat for a cold day, and once you try it, you may never go back. For the best, most satisfying cup, try these highly-rated blends.
Best Overall: Ghirardelli Hot Cocoas
From the world-renowned San Francisco-based chocolate factory comes a type hot cocoa unlike any other you’ve ever tasted before. There are four flavors to choose from: classic rich chocolate, double chocolate, caramel, mocha, and a blend called Premium Indulgence. Each one is better than the next, but they all have one shared characteristic that’ll keep you coming back for more: The mix includes both cocoa powder and tiny chocolate pieces to create a truly rich and complex beverage that’s smooth enough to drink.
Though there is some at-home prep required to enjoy a cuppa, it couldn’t be any simpler. Just heat 6 ounces of hot water and stir in one pre-portioned packet of cocoa until dissolved. For an extra treat, you can even stir in a piece of the brand’s signature chocolate bar.
Best Powder: Guittard Chocolate Grand Cacao Drinking Chocolate
This is a sweet ground drinking chocolate with a name tag you might recognize, thanks to the fact that Guittard’s products are widely available at supermarkets across the country. But it’s not just the brand name that wins this rich, chocolaty drink tons of praise. The decadent drinking chocolate mix is a combination of rare red-Dutch process cocoa powder and ground chocolate that yields a velvety beverage.
Just be warned: It’s a drink for true chocolate lovers, as each cup is super rich and thick, plus has a bittersweet edge that purists can’t get enough of. Another thing to note: Customers are quick to point out that a little bit goes a very long way, making this high-quality drinking chocolate an excellent value pick.
For more indulgent chocolate treats, check out these decadent recipes for dark chocolate lovers.
Best Quick-Dissolving: Williams-Sonoma Sweet Ground Chocolate
Due to the coarse nature of most drinking chocolate (that’s where all that rich, creamy chocolate flavor comes from), melting the perfect warm beverage is a bit more labor intensive than any hot cocoa you might be used to. But if you’re in a hurry, you’ll appreciate this special quick-dissolving blend. It’s just as flavorful as other chocolate varieties but takes a fraction of the time to prepare. This is because the mix of premium cocoa powder is made of premium Guittard chocolate, gently ground to the perfect, finer consistency using a century-old grindstone.
This technique doesn’t just make the chocolate fast melting, though—it actually helps neutralize the chocolate's acidity to yield a smoother finished product. A touch of sweetness from sugar and natural vanilla simply serves to seal the deal.
Best Sugar-Free: Lakanto Sugar-Free Drinking Chocolate
So you want a satisfying treat, but prefer to maintain a low-sugar diet? You can still enjoy something as indulgent as drinking chocolate—if you choose wisely. This brand of drinking chocolate is sugar free, with not a drop of refined sugar inside. It’s also all-natural, zero glycemic, gluten free, and contains just one net carb, so it’s friendly to a wide variety of specialized diets, including keto, paleo, and vegan. As an added bonus, it’s also fortified with probiotics for improved gut health.
Still, it has the same great taste as other richer options. How? The Dutch cocoa is sweetened with non-GMO Lakanto Monk Fruit sweetener (a combination of erythritol and monk fruit extract) and natural vanilla flavors. Customers say it’s a fabulous drinking chocolate but also tastes great in coffee, smoothies, and baked goods.
Best Flavors: Taza Chocolate Organic Mexicano Disc Stone Ground
Taza makes drinking chocolate to suit just about every taste. There are traditional pure dark chocolate and sweet chocolate for traditionalists, slight departures from standards like salted almond and vanilla, and then there are some truly unique flavors like guajillo chile and cinnamon.
That’s not the only thing that makes this solid drinking chocolate special, though. Each chocolate disc is hand carved using granite millstones and shaped into Mexican-style discs to enhance the flavor profile, ensuring each sip is bolder than the next.
Melt the organic, non-GMO, fair trade-certified chocolate into water or milk to drink—or nibble off bites for a tasty snack. Some reviewers even enjoy it flaked on top of ice cream or a smoothie bowl.
Best Crumbles: Theo 55% Dark Chocolate Drinking Chocolate
Specialty chocolate company Theo calls this drinking chocolate the ultimate choice for the “purists” of the bunch. This is because it’s made from the company’s award-winning dark chocolate. As a result, each cup of drinking chocolate made from this mixture of cocoa beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter, and ground vanilla bean is full-bodied, rich, and velvety—essentially the perfect indulgence for a cold winter day. Just heat water, milk, or a non-dairy alternative like almond or coconut milk, then whisk in the drinking chocolate until smooth and creamy.
Despite the indulgence, you can feel good about choosing this drinking chocolate. It’s organic, non-GMO, fair trade certified, and suitable for a variety of specialized diets like soy free, kosher, vegan, and gluten free.
Best Dark Chocolate: Cacoco Drinking Chocolate, 80% Extra Dark Chocolate
When you like your chocolate as dark as can be, Cacoco is the way to go. The brand’s 80 percent extra dark chocolate will suit the majority of tastes, but the company does have an even more bitter option at 100 percent extra dark chocolate. No matter which you choose, you’ll get a high-quality, certified organic blend of whole cocoa and vanilla bean that’s sure to fit your craving.
All ingredients are good for you and good for the planet—the ethically sourced, heirloom cacao is all harvested from Ecuadorian farms that rely on ecological and regenerative farming practices. Melt and drink cold or hot, use in smoothies or coffee, or add it to another treat like pudding or ice cream.
Best Liquid: Cholaca Original Drinking Chocolate
For a completely fuss-free alternative to drinking chocolate, try liquid cocoa. Though it’s not technically considered drinking chocolate, the product closely mirrors other options on this list that require more prep work. With this product in your kitchen, drinking a rich, creamy chocolate beverage is as easy as opening the lid and pouring out a taste.
You’ll want to scale back your serving size, though. Because it’s so concentrated, just a little bit goes a very long way. Simply take a few sips for a satisfying snack. Alternatively, you can pour a small amount into a glass of milk for a larger treat that won’t overwhelm. Even when you mix, it’s effortless. Because the chocolate is also liquid, there’s no melting required for a seamless, clump-free blend.
Choose from two varieties: the original version, which is ever-so-slightly sweetened with coconut sugar, or an unsweetened version that dark chocolate lovers will gravitate toward.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Brigitt Earley has written and edited hundreds of articles in the food space for various publications over the course of the last 10 years. She also attended the French Culinary Institute in NYC.