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Explore New England

Maine’s new drinking culture

In restaurants and bars, the cocktail has come back and evolved, alongside the sprouting of microbreweries

PORTLAND, Maine - John Myers, a traditional saloonist and cocktail historian, tends bar at The Grill Room, a steakhouse with a wood-burning grill in the center of the Old Port here. Myers, looking like a Wild West gunslinger with his wool vest and bushy beard, stands in the lamplight - a sommelier of cocktails ready to shake or stir.

I’m sitting on the other side of the bar, deciding what to order. I know that the bar man specializes in the tried and true.

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