Naren Young Dante Winter Cocktail Recipe Downtown New York Cocktail Bar

Grandlife interviews

Winter Cocktails with Dante's Naren Young

back to list

The creative director of the newly-tapped “world’s best bar” shares a recipe for Calypso Coffee and his go-to spots for a cozy winter cocktail.  

There are few New York institutions with a legacy as rich as Caffe Dante’s. The century-old bar and restaurant in the Greenwich Village made a name for itself in decades past as a hangout for cultural icons like Anaïs Nin, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Mapplethorpe, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, among many other beatniks, artists, and writers. Now a registered New York City historic landmark, Dante has most recently received attention for its “world’s best bar” accolade. So we figured, who better to tap for a winter cocktail recipe than Dante’s creative director, Naren Young. Here, Young shares a recipe for Calypso Coffee along with his go-to spots for a cozy cocktail as the weather drops below freezing.    

What ingredients do you like to work with during the cooler months when creating cocktails?

Naren Young: Like a lot of bars, we gravitate towards more warming, spicy ingredients: brown spirits, any sort of whiskey to various brandies whether its cognac, almanac, calvados; aged tequila, aged rums—and then we pair those with similar flavors like dried fruits, spices, pepper, chili, ginger, and on top of that whatever is in season. So as we move closer to December and January things get a little bit bleak in New York, but for now we’re still using things like Concord grape, pomegranates, pears, apples, pumpkins, squashes—some of which would have been fairly unusual in drinks a few years ago, but now its not unusual to see root vegetables popping up in cocktails. We use that as our framework and then we see what we can use to create a balanced menu that will get people excited at Dante. 

What are some of your go-to spots downtown for a cocktail during winter; what makes each notable and what do you order there?

NY: I really like the Library bar. NoMad can get a bit crazy so I like the solace in there. It’s secluded and bit more refined, relaxed and not too busy. It’s a great place to have a glass of champagne, a martini, or a hot drink in the winter. I like The Irving, which I think doesn’t get enough praise. It’s a really nice bar just off Union Square—beautiful venue, stunning cocktails, great staff. It’s a nice place to get out of the cold and grab a comfortable lounge. And for something a bit more down-to-earth, I really like the Swift [Hibernian Lounge], which is an Irish pub on East 4th. It’s a good place to sit at the window, especially if it’s snowing and have a Guinness or a nip of whiskey. I love going there and just chilling out.  

And how about further afield in Brooklyn—do you have a go-to spot? 

NY: I like the Grand Army, it’s a great neighborhood bar. They’ve got an open fire and a really interesting beer and wine list. They do great bar food, nice cocktails. I also like the Long Island Bar over on Atlantic. They do some great classic cocktails—it’s a nice place to have a Manhattan or an Old Fashion, and is manned by some of the great bartenders of the city. 

Naren Young’s Calypso Coffee 

1oz. Appleton

½ oz. Frangelico

½ oz. honey

3 dashes spice tincture

Preheat a toddy glass with hot water (discard)

Fill halfway with espresso coffee

Add ingredients and float vanilla cream on top

Garnish with grated cinnamon

WORDS Edwina Hagon 

PHOTOGRAPHY Steve Freihon 

You May Also Like

Duncan Hannah smoking a cigarette

Remembering Duncan Hannah: The 20th Century Boy

art & design
stories
Author Richard Boch talks to Debbie Harry, filmmaker Amos Poe, musician Chris Frantz, painter and critic Walter Robinson, and photographer and filmmaker Richard Kern.
Image of Nomi Ruiz holding a microphone

Nomi Ruiz on Art, Trans Culture & the NYC Streets

art & design
bars & nightlife
music
stories
The multi-hyphenate creator and former Hercules & Love Affair vocalist talks about her new album, the shows she’ll never forget and her ideal day in New York.
Side by side images, the left image showing Natasha David smiling in a black sparkly dress making a cocktail, the right image shows an up close of a woman's hands garnishing a ready made cocktail with a fresh strawberry

Spring Cocktails with Natasha David

bars & nightlife
food & drink
stories
We take cues from the award-winning bartender whose eclectic and playful approach to drink making perfectly compliments the season in bloom.
In Conversation with Designer Mara Hoffman

In Conversation with Designer Mara Hoffman

art & design
fashion
stories
We talk with the Parsons graduate and champion of sustainability about finding her place in New York, the path to conscious design, and the power of collaboration.
Headshot of Natasha Lyonne

Talking NY Moments With Natasha Lyonne

art & design
bars & nightlife
film
food & drink
music
stories
The native New Yorker reflects on the making of "Russian Doll," her close-knit friendship with Chloë Sevigny, and the New York moment she’ll never forget.
Godlis David New York Photographer History Was Made at Night Godlis Streets Street Photography 70s 80s CBGB CBGB's

Eyes Open. Shoot First. Think Later. Godlis in Conversation with Richard Boch

art & design
stories
“I was committed to being the guy that walks around with a camera shooting what he sees.” Photographer GODLIS talks life on St. Marks, CBGB’s, and his new book.
WINE DIRECTOR SIERRA ECHEGARAY

TALKING NATURAL WINE WITH WINE DIRECTOR SIERRA ECHEGARAY

food & drink
restaurants
stories
GrandLife sat down with wine director Sierra Echegaray of Leo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to chat all-things natural wine. 
Keegan Sanford New York illustrator art director T-shirt covid-19 robin hood relief fund

We Are New York: In Conversation with Keegan Sanford

art & design
stories
The senior art director and illustrator on the power of words, the T-shirt he created to make a difference, daily rituals and more.
Best Rate Promise
Soho Grand Hotel

310 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

(212) 965-3000
The Roxy Hotel New York

2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

212.519.6600