Sunday, December 9, 2018

My Favorite Hot Chocolates of 2018

Since starting this blog, I get asked all the time what my favorite hot chocolate is, or can I please recommend something to get as a gift for someone. Well, yes, yes I can recommend something! Whatever the occasion is that you need an amazing hot chocolate, I'm here to help! Below are my thoughts on some of my favorites and you can decide for yourself which might be the one you're looking for. They are not in any particular order, and I've included a variety of types and flavors, and I'll keep it short and sweet. You just cannot go wrong with the drinking chocolates I've included here! Enjoy!

Bean to Bar Drinking Chocolates

Askinosie Sipping Chocolate
Askinosie is one of my favorite chocolate makers, and I've reviewed their drinking chocolate before. It's a perfect example of what makes bean-to-bar chocolate amazing. Dark and rich, it's a wonderful introduction into the world of bean-to-bar drinking chocolates.

Mutari Craft Chocolate
Mutari only makes bean-to-bottle drinking chocolates, no bars. It's amazing, and if you get a set with a few flavors, you'll really enjoy the differences between them. Not overly sweet, it's perfect for a serious chocolate lover. And I think they may change their flavor offerings, so check back once in a while!

Dick Taylor Drinking Chocolate
Dick Taylor is an icon in the craft chocolate world, and their drinking chocolate is top notch. Before they even offered drinking chocolates for sale, I was making it from their bars. If you like your hot chocolate a little more on the tangy and very rich side, this is the one for you.

Potomac Chocolate
Potomac is my favorite chocolate maker. The whole company is just one guy, Ben, working out of his basement. The flavors he captures in his bars are just amazing, and he's carried that over wonderfully to his drinking chocolates. And the Spiced variety packs a bit of heat!

Gourmet Drinking Chocolates

MarieBelle Hot Chocolate
This is the hot chocolate that got me started on my adventures with chocolate. It was one of my very first posts here on Melting Mug, and is still one of my favorite hot chocolates out there. If you're buying this as a gift for someone, I'd recommend sticking with their original Aztec mix. This one is actually one of my favorites gifts to give during the holidays.

Jacques Torres Wicked Hot Chocolate
This spicy hot chocolate is from celebrity chef and world renown chocolatier Jacques Torres. When choosing a spicy hot chocolate for my list, I had a tough time deciding between this one and Chuao. Both are exceptional and have a fiery kick to them, and you can't go wrong with either. You can even get this Wicked Hot Chocolate as a cool gift set with mugs!

Chuao Spicy Maya Drinking Chocolate
Ok, so yeah, I have to include this one anyway. There's plenty of room on this list for two spicy hot chocolates. This was the first spicy drinking chocolate I ever tried, and it's wonderful. It finishes really hot, though, so if you like spicy things, this is your drink!

Powder Mix Hot Chocolates

Chocolat Moderne Kama Sutra
This mix absolutely blew me away the first time I tasted it, and it's still possibly the most relaxing chocolate drink I've ever enjoyed. It's a day at the spa in a can! The spice combination in the Kama Sutra mix is heavenly, and just smelling it will make you want to put on fluffy slippers and settle in next to the fireplace.

Lake Champlain Hot Chocolates
Lake Champlain's mixes are some of my favorites to keep at work, where I don't always have the time to melt solid chocolate in hot milk. Sadly, it doesn't look like they still make their Chai & Mighty flavor, but their other flavors are great, too.

Mexican Hot Chocolates

La Soledad Hot Chocolates
This is as authentic as you can get, so much so that your have to order it from Mexico. I'd advise grabbing either the almond (almondrado) or the cinnamon (canela). Package it up with a traditional molinillo for frothing the chocolate and you've got an amazing gift set! You can read my review of this drink here.

Taza Stone Ground Chocolate
Taza is made the same way traditional Mexican chocolate is, stone ground and organic. They're based in Somerville, MA, so a little bit easier to order than the La Soledad. Their sampler pack has an amazing variety, and each disc is perfectly sized for a mug of drinking chocolate!

Chocolate Syrup

Abuelita Chocolate Cinnamon Syrup
I know, I know - it's made by Nestlé. If you've read my blog before, you know I tend to stay away from the giant corporate chocolate makers. However, the ingredients here aren't packed with chemicals, and the flavor is a wonderful variation when reaching for a chocolate milk. I wouldn't have it on this list if I didn't love it.

Make your own!
A while back I posted a super simple recipe for making your own, and not only is it one of the tastiest I've had, you can use it on everything from hot and cold drinking chocolates to ice cream and pies. Check it out here, and keep in mind you can use your favorite cocoa powder to make it your own. Also, your friends will be thrilled that you made it yourself!


Marshmallow Madness!
If you've never tried homemade marshmallows, oh wow, you NEED this book! Making marshmallows is easier than you might think, and so worth it. And again, it's one of those gifts that your friends and family will be amazed by. I mean, who gives out homemade marshmallows? you do, that's who!