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We asked 61 keen hot chocolate drinkers to blind-taste a range of instant hot chocolate brands and supermarket versions, and found that Galaxy was the tastiest of the bunch.
Cadbury’s wasn’t far behind, but other big brands failed to impress. Options was our lowest-scoring hot chocolate – it was rated too weak by 39% of tasters, and 41% told us it was too sweet.
If you’re trying to cut costs this winter, Aldi’s Choceur instant hot chocolate mix is a great budget pick. It wasn’t far behind the best brands in the taste stakes, but at just 7p per serving, it’s less than half the price of Galaxy (18p per serving).
Best instant hot chocolates:
- Best Buy: Galaxy Instant Hot Chocolate – 73%, (£2.60 for 370g). Available from Asda, Iceland, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.
- Best Buy: Cadbury Instant Hot Chocolate – 71%, (£2.50 for 400g). Available from Asda, Iceland, Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Ocado and Waitrose.
- Great Value pick: Aldi Choceur Instant Hot Chocolate – 69%, (99p for 400g). Available from Aldi.
See the full results in our best instant hot chocolate guide, or read on for more on how we tested and tips on how to make the best hot chocolate at home.
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How we tested instant hot chocolate
We asked a panel of 61 consumers to taste and rate each hot chocolate.
The panel rated the taste, texture, aroma and appearance of each drink and told us what they liked and disliked about the product. The order in which they sampled the hot chocolate was rotated to avoid any bias.
Branded vs supermarket hot chocolate
Our tests show that, while splashing out on some brands might get you the best-tasting drinks, some supermarket labels are still a tasty option, and will save you money too.
Here’s the full list of instant hot chocolate mixes we tried, listed alphabetically alongside the typical price.
- Aero Instant Hot Chocolate (£2.90)
- Aldi Choceur Instant Hot Chocolate (£0.99)
- Asda Instant Hot Chocolate (£1.04)
- Cadbury (£2.50)
- Clipper Fairtrade Instant Hot Chocolate (£3.10)
- Co-op Fairtrade Instant Hot Chocolate (£2.30)
- Galaxy Instant Hot Chocolate (£2.60)
- Lidl Bellarom Instant Hot Chocolate
- Morrisons Instant Hot Chocolate (£2)
- Options Instant Belgian Hot Chocolate (£3)
- Sainsbury’s Instant Fairtrade Hot Chocolate (£1.40)
- Tesco Instant Hot Chocolate (£1.60)
To see a full score breakdown, and find out how your nearest supermarket options fared, head to the full best hot chocolate guide.
Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser – is it worth the money? See our review
How to make the best hot chocolate at home
1. Use a milk frother
Properly frothed milk can really add to the flavour of your hot chocolate, making for a rich, creamy mix – perfect for a chilly winter’s evening.
The best milk frothers we’ve tested are quick and easy to use, enabling you to create voluminous froth without a fuss, and some top options aren’t too pricey either.
Find out which milk frothers impressed in our hands-on test, with our guide to the best milk frothers.
2. Get creative with toppings and extras
If you’re making a hot chocolate to warm up gloomy January evenings, you might as well treat yourself and go all out to make an Instagram-worthy offering.
Mini marshmallows and whipped cream are impressive and crowd-pleasing, and you can add some flavour with a syrup – there are loads of different varieties to choose from, including peppermint, vanilla, caramel and gingerbread.
Spare Christmas biscuits or sweets such as candy canes can look great served alongside, for an indulgent treat that gives new life to leftovers.
You could also add a splash of Baileys for an extra kick. See how Aldi and Lidl chocolate Irish cream liqueurs compare with the big brand in our Chocolate Orange Liqueur head to head.
Best food and drink – see our top picks on everything from top winter wines to the best instant coffee