Published Dec. 13, 2023
BY SARA EYJOLFSDOTTIR and SHAYLA DUTTA
It’s the holiday season and there’s no shortage of winter, Christmas, and other holiday-themed drinks. The sheer number of options is dizzying. And who’s got the time to go through and try them all? Fortunately, The Sandpiper has taken care of that for you! These reviews will help ensure you aren’t settling for the second-best sip and can
instead enjoy the tastiest winter beverage on the Peninsula.
Captain + Stoker
398 E Franklin Street in Monterey
The Leg Warmer Latte might cost you a pretty penny at $6.25, but it is well worth the price. The combination of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar tastes the way a warm jacket feels on a brisk morning. Nor is the sugar overpowering; the espresso shines through excellently.
Rio Road in Carmel
The Gingerbread Oat Milk Chai, also $6.25, may sound like the perfect festive drink for a chilly morning, especially for the coffee-haters out there, but it is far from it. Starbucks’ typical watered-down chai has remained the one constant in this rapidly evolving world, and this new holiday drink does not break that record. The spices are bland and dull, leaving the same feeling of disappointment as being labeled too old to sit on Santa’s lap.
Carmel Valley Roasting Company
246 Crossroads Blvd. in Carmel
The $6 Eggnog Latte is the perfect blend of two classic hot beverages. The festive spices and warm aftertaste of eggnog added directly to the drink will leave you in the holiday spirit for hours after consumption. Warning: This drink may cause spontaneous caroling and extended holiday cheer.
560 Munras Ave. UNIT 10 in Monterey
This drink is particularly disappointing given the fact that Peet’s can be counted on to outperform Starbucks in almost any area. And yet, the $5.95 Peppermint Mocha Black Tie is an atrocity that should have never been created, much less consumed by humans. It seems to be nothing more than minty Hershey’s sauce drizzled at the bottom of a cold brew with a strange foam added to ensure the coffee is properly ruined. We actually retched trying this drink. Stick to the regular menu items at Peet’s to spare yourself this experience.