No one can argue that hot chocolate is the perfect post-ice skating, sledding and snowman-making drink. The cozy drink has been around forever, but this winter we’ve seen an uptick in all things hot cocoa flavoredfrom limited edition hot cocoa M&Ms to hot cocoa rolls.

While we love a good hot chocolate flavored nothing can beat the actual beverage. It’s warm, comforting, decadent and delicious, and the perfect treat on a cold wintry night (or morning).

But we have a serious question: Why are those mixes from the supermarket always so disappointing? you know what we mean. For the prices we have to pay for them, shouldn’t they be the tastiest and most chocolatey? I swear they just up the prices when it’s packaged nicely, but the taste is just never as good as you think it’ll be.

On the same note, dare you take a look at the ingredients on the pack of that neatly packaged hot cocoa, or the ones that come in the packets for that matter, you might faint. The packaged stuff is usually loaded with lots of unnecessary fillers, sugar, oils, and all that bad stuff. So not only does store-bought hot cocoa taste bad, it’s unhealthy too.

Rather than keep on being disappointed, the best way to get the perfect hot chocolate is to cut out the middleman and do it yourself! Not only is this much more affordable, but when you make it at home, you know exactly what’s going into it.

Now before you say you have no time for that, know that making hot cocoa from scratch is actually one of the most least time-consuming recipes ever.

Sarah Carey of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food shows us how to create our own make-ahead mixes for a winter full of lovely hot chocolate everybody will love. Her recipe contains only three ingredients (count ’em, one, two, three!), and takes a mere few minutes to whip up.

You can make a whole bunch of it and keep it in a canister in your house, or wrap it up and package it as a gift for the holidays (trust us, people will go ga-ga for it, especially since you made it from scratch). Just don’t forget to save some for yourself, cause you’ll definitely want to try out a cup this season!

Take a look at how she does it below!

You’ll Need

– 3 1/2 cups sugar – 2 1/4 cups cocoa – 1 tablespoon table salt

The secret to the smoothest, creamiest hot cocoa is to sift the cocoa powder to remove all the lumps. Also don’t try to sub the table salt for course salt. Table salt dissolves quicker in the milk when you make it into hot cocoa.

The best part about it is that the recipe is super versatile. You want a mocha hot chocolate? Add instant espresso. How about more of a Mexican hot chocolate? Add some cinnamon.

Mix everything up with some warmed milk for absolutely perfect hot chocolate.

Don’t you think this mix would be the perfect DIY Christmas or hostess gift? If you need a recipe, grab your printable copy from Everyday Food’s site. Do you have any hot chocolate secrets of your own?