Best Hot Cocoas

best hot cocoasHot chocolate is the ultimate cold-weather comfort, and thanks to a myriad of chocolate pots on the market, anyone at home can can whip—and, in some cases, heat—milk and cocoa into velvety pots of pillow-capped deliciousness. In our November/December 2012 issue, we highlight a few of our favorite hot chocolate makers, but equally important is the actual cocoa that goes inside the pot—here are nine cocoas and drinking chocolates you’ll find in our mug this winter.

240 Sweet Extra Brute

Midwest marshmallow makers 240 Sweet recently introduced this Euro-style cocoa that combines powder-fine chocolate with Tahitian vanilla beans. $15,

Askinosie Sipping Chocolate

Tiny pebbles of single origin chocolate (specifically from Davao, Philippines) combine with coffee from Intelligentsia for melty morsels of deliciousness. $15.50/6 oz.,

Christopher Elbow Peppermint Drinking Chocolate

There’s something irresistibly festive about the combo of peppermint and chocolate, and chocolate craftsman Christopher Elbow subtly balances the two in this mix of dark drinking chocolate and natural peppermint oils. $16/12 oz. tin,

Ghana 80

This shade-grown African cocoa is hand-harvested and sun-dried. The result is a dark, rich drinking chocolate with a delicious, lingering finish. $9.99/7.5 oz.,

Moonstruck Mayan Hot Cocoa

Inspired by a frequent truffle favorite, this cocoa wraps you in a blanket of cinnamon-spiced warmth and chocolaty goodness. And if you’re looking for on-the-go cocoa, it’s also packaged in portable, single-serving pouches. $12/9.5 oz.,

Sucre Extra Dark Drinking Chocolate

This extra dark drinking chocolate from New Orleans’ French-inspired sweet shop Sucre mixes in 65-percent Venezuelan bittersweet chocolate for an über-rich and decadent cup. $16/12 oz.,

Taza Salted Almond Chocolate Mexicano

A pinch of kosher salt adds a savory note to this stone-ground drinking chocolate, while raw California almonds help create a dense, rustic texture. $4.50/disc,


San Francisco-based chocolatier TCHO direct-sources and oversees its entire chocolate production. This drinking chocolate blends cacao from Africa and South America for a fudge-like, crave-worthy cup. $13/300g,

Voges Aztec Elixir Couture Cocoa

Cocoa goes couture with this Aztec-inspired mix of chocolate, chile peppers, cinnamon, vanilla and cornmeal. $15,