I've never quite understood the popularity of those pouches of "Hot Chocolate Mix".
Making Hot Chocolate from scratch is a bit of a pain. But, if you follow simple rules, it isn't hard. The ritual is really no more complicated than making an Old-Fashioned or Sazerac. And, really, the end product is so far superior, that I don't think you'll go back to the snack pack.
Chocolate is one of the most important new world foods. Along with Corn, Potatoes, Chiles, and Tomatoes, it is one of the great staples "discovered" by the Europeans in the so-called new world. Imagine no one knowing what they were missing until they tried that first chocolate!
Drinking chocolate is the most basic way to consume it and was probably done for hundreds of years before the Europeans arrived on the shores of America.
First heat your liquid*. For each portion heat 8 ounces of liquid. I usually just use whatever milk is in the refrigerator. I guess it's skim. Whole milk is nice. The mayans and aztecs usually used only water. Bring your liquid to a near simmer. Don't quite let it boil, especially if it is milk.
While that is happening, put 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a mug. I also usually add a pinch of cayenne and a dash of cinnamon powder. To this add 3 tablespoons of water. Stir this will a spoon. It will take a couple seconds of mixing; but, it will come together into a smooth paste that looks like melted chocolate.
Starting slowly, drip in some of your warm liquid. Stir each of those first additions carefully until they are combined.
Once it seems like the paste is dissolving well in your liquid, pour in the rest while stirring.
Once you've gotten to this point, the world is your oyster. Enjoy it as is, or add a flavoring as you choose. Liquor, liqueur, syrup, extract... The sky's the limit. Any flavor you like with chocolate can go in there.
I added an ounce of W.L. Weller 12 year old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The flavors combined nicely.
Sit back, and enjoy your Winter Warmer.
*If you have one of those steamers on your espresso or coffee maker, you can also heat the liquid with it. If you do heat your liquid with one of the milk steamer attachments or devices, do the chocolate mixing step first. Also, unless you are inordinately fond of foam, heat the milk in a manner which minimizes the amount foam formed.