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Best instant hot chocolate (just add water)?

It used to be Swiss Miss Cocoa & Cream, but sadly, that was discontinued (and if someone starts a petition to have it returned to production, I will gladly sign). For work I often travel to places where I don't have access to a stove or milk, but I do have access to hot water, so this is my evening treat.

Home recipes also welcome! I'm looking for something that has both a strong chocolate flavor and a significant cream texture (as the Cocoa & Cream did).


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  1. I don't know about "best," but you could mix this up and give it a try.


    1 Reply
      1. re: jaykayen

        also one I will drink, but mainly because it proclaims 99% caffeine free - & I am not able to have much caffeine at all (very sensitive to it). Wish more cocoas would say if they have added caffeine or not. Now, I am aware chocolate contains caffeine . As I am unable to eliminate chocolate from my life, I look for breaks where I can take them!

        1. re: ipsedixit

          I like Land o Lakes

          But for the very best, just add water, hot chocolate it's hard to beat Chuao. Ridiculously expensive but probably the best cup of instant hot chocolate I've ever had.

        2. I know I had a tin of the Godiva hot cocoa mix and loved it. I hear the cocoa camino mixes are also pretty good.

          1. Try this site:

            They sell the packets individually and might be a good way to try a bunch of different flavors without buying an entire box.

            1. I used to drink cadburys which is lush, but you use hot milk, not water.

              Man I could do with some of that now. Too many hot chocolates are too rich these days

              4 Replies
              1. re: Soop

                Ghirardelli cocoa, found in supermarkets. No contest.

                1. re: dolores

                  Oooh, you got that right, Dolores...I enjoy mine with half Ghirardelli white mocha and half their regular cocoa.

                  I also love Mexican hot cocoa, but need to have more than one person here to whip out the blender and go through the whole process.

                  1. re: dolores

                    I gotta go with dolores on this one. Ghiradelli wins every time. But if you have any access to half & half, try spiking any mediocre hot cocoa pack with that. It gives a great mouthfeel and nice body to any wimpy mix. Nutmeg on top helps, too.

                    1. re: dolores

                      Totally agree with the Ghiardelli recommendation, the Double Chocolate is GREAT, and it's easy to find in the supermarket. However I think Lake Champlain Traditional Hot Chocolate, is the best but not easy to find.

                      Consumer Report gave the Ghiardelli Double Chocolate an excellent rating. I remember reading the article a while back and they said one thing alot of hot chocolate mixes have in common is that you really have to use twice as much as recommended to get a really good chocolaty flavor.

                  2. I got one this past Christmas from World Market Drinking Chocolate in the flavor dulce de leche. Some of the best that is just add water and some of them are on sale right now. I also like the Godiva Hot Cocoa but you use milk instead of water for that one.

                    1. Ghirardelli Premium Hot Cocoa Double Chocolate is my favorite with Monin Peppermint syrup. My method is 4 oz. hot water in mug, add cocoa mix and using small whisk, whisk until smooth, then add remaining 4 oz. hot water while continuing to whisk. Add 1 - 2 pumps peppermint syrup to taste. Using a whisk aerates drink to a frothy consistency. YUMMM!!!

                      1. I agree I love the Ghirardelli hot chocolate best but it is not instant. The directions specifically call for adding the mix to hot milk. It's terrific but I've never made it with just water so not sure how that would work out.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: cookie44

                          Ghirardelli has multiple cocoa products but the Premium Double Chocolate I speak of comes in individual packets & most definitely is prepared with hot water.

                          1. re: kemi5

                            I will have to find that and store them in my desk. The cocoa at work sux and sometimes you just gotta have a mug of cocoa...esp. this time of year!

                            To clarify my original response, at home I heat a mug of milk in the microwave, then add a tablespoon each of Ghirardelli's white mocha and sweet ground cocoa...with a little cinnamon on top. But if you don't have access to a microwave or milk, this would be a problem...so I'm VERY glad there's a "just add water" solution out there. :) Thanks for letting us know!

                            1. re: kemi5

                              I am not familiar with that product, sorry. I've only ever seen the kind in the canisters which is not instant. Thanks for the info I will keep an eye out for that.

                          2. DW is particulalrly fond of Dean's Beans Fair Trade Organic Hot Cocoa. She says it is worth the extra $.


                            1. I grew up with homemade hot cocoa mix, so it's what tastes best to me. But as evidence that it *is* actually good, all my friends in college used to raid my stash rather than drink any of the packets their parents would send, and declared it the best cocoa ever. It's easy and inexpensive to make, and you can make endless variations.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: modthyrth

                                Well, come now, if it's another "just add water" solution, please share, won't you?

                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                  My pleasure. Here's what we use:

                                  * One 25.6oz box of instant nonfat dry milk
                                  * One large container of Nestle Quick (chocolate milk flavor--it used to be a 2lb container, but they've kept shrinking it over the years)
                                  * One pound powdered sugar
                                  * 8oz powdered creamer
                                  * two teaspoons salt
                                  * 2 cups cocoa powder

                                  Instructions are simple--mix it up! It makes a HUGE batch, so use one or even several very large bowls.

                                  If you like super creamy cocoa, try adding a box of chocolate instant pudding to the mix. You can add cinnamon, chile powder, mint powder, flavored creamers. Tons of options to mix it up, but I usually stick with just the classic mix.

                                  To make the cocoa, fill about a third of the mug with cocoa mix. Add hot water. Stir and enjoy.

                                  1. re: modthyrth

                                    Very cool. Thank you! :) I might try to play with that to yield a smaller batch. Nice!

                              2. Does anyone have the directions to make the Godiva Hot Cocoa? I received the 3 can pack for a Christmas present but my friend's dog must have liked it too because he ate the box which has the directions printed on it.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: kmayer91

                                  straight from outside the canister

                                  Stovetop: Bring 1 cup (8oz) of milk to a simmer, making sure not to boil. pour milk into a cup or mug and stir 3 tablespoons of godiva hot cocoa mix.

                                  Microwave: Pour 1 cup (8oz) of milk into a microwave safe cup or mug. heat on high for 1 1/2 -2 mins or until hot. add 3 tablespoons of the hot cocoa mix, stir and enjoy.

                                  i hope you enjoy it. i love it but i didnt know if there was a white chocolate mix or not. if there is i definitely need to be on the lookout for that.

                                  1. re: vttp926

                                    Ghirardelli has a white mocha mix, which I love and have already yapped about upthread. I mention 'cause it's readily available in the supermarket. Try it halfsy-halfsy as I do. It's so good. I'm sippin' on a mug of it right now!

                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                      i havent found ghirardelli hot cocoa mix at any of the stores i go to unless i havent been looking closely. what store do you get yours at?

                                      1. re: vttp926

                                        Ohhh, you're down south and I'm in CT. Up here I can get it at Stop & Shop or Big Y...maybe call around your area and see if they have it. I always forget this is a big country and not all products are as readily available as I think they are.

                                        I love this stuff, though. If you'd like to check it out, looks like you can buy it online (I know, a PITA, but still):

                                        I'll bet somewhere down your way sells it...it's just the quest to find it now! ;)

                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                          thanks will definitely have to look.

                                2. The absolute best I've had is Lake Champlain. I bought it from Whole Foods, and it wasn't cheap ($7.99 for 16 oz), but it's by far the closest to homemade (which I do make as well; I just use the recipe on the side of the cocoa box). Also, the only ingredients in it are sugar, cocoa, and vanilla, which is why I purchased it in the first place.

                                  Oh, and it's not "add water", it's "add milk", if that rules it out for you.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: dagwood


                                    I mentioned Lake Champlain in my post above - we think it's the best too. Their chocolates are great quality. We just got back from Vermont with a stockpile of it and I've just put a variety of Lake Champlain candy bars into stockings for gifts. Nice to know Whole Foods carries it. Do you know if they carry Lake Champlain candy bars?

                                    1. re: Axalady

                                      I'm not sure. If I get back again soon I'll look. I was specifically looking for hot chocolate without a lot of garbage in it when I found it, so I didn't check the chocolates. If I see them though I'll post back!

                                      I'm in Rhode Island, if it matters. Maybe it's a regional thing?

                                      1. re: Axalady

                                        My Whole Foods (in Virginia) carries the chocolate bars as well; couldn't say which specifically, just know for certain I have seen them.

                                        1. re: cookie44

                                          Thank you both. I'll have to check the Whole Foods in Annapolis.

                                    2. 5 letters - Chuao.

                                      Chuao Chocolatiers makes, hands down, the best hot chocolate around. Not cheap, but worth every cent. Can be made with milk or water.


                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                        My favorite that I've been giving to the neighbors is this:

                                        3 cups powdered milk
                                        2 cups confectioners sugar
                                        1 1/2 cups cocoa (preferably Dutch process)
                                        1/4 teas salt
                                        1 1/2 cups mint chips
                                        1 cup dark chocolate chips

                                        Add 2 teaspoons to a mug and then very hot water. Stir until chips dissolve. When I say teaspoons here, I am referring to the spoons use use with a place setting.