Naren Young considers himself an unofficial Cynar evangelist. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, his fascination with unique bottles behind the bar began while working his first restaurant job at the age of 14, long before he was old enough to enjoy them. That curiosity continued as he fell into a “bizarre love of booze” and developed an interest in the more academic side of cocktails. By the time he was 18, the legal drinking age in Australia, he had memorized more than 150 drink recipes without having made or tasted most of them.
After spending several years working in a liquor store learning everything he could about wine and spirits, Young got his first job behind the bar at New Orleans Café in Sydney. He worked his way through a handful of other local bars prior to landing a job at the Grand Pacific Blue Room, one of the biggest cocktail bars in Australia at the time. He went on to work at Bayswater Brasserie, another seminal cocktail bar in Australia, before setting his sights on New York in 2006. His most recent project, the reopening of Café Dante, now referred to as Dante, allows him to entertain his affinity for amari, sherry and vermouth, particularly Cynar. He recently sat down with Joshua Harris of The Bon Vivants (and Pig & Punch) to talk more about Cynar and his passion for all things culinary.