A new company called Coastal Root is working to launch a line of locally produced bitters later this summer. Owner Nolan Stewart developed an interest in bitters during his tenure as a bartender at Five Fifty-Five. The first of his bitters has a base of gentian, burdock and dandelion root with sassafras and sarsaparilla playing a leading role. Stewart has a second bitters in the planning stages that will feature hibiscus, jasmine and ginger.
The Coastal Root Facebook page explains, “We are a company dedicated to creating cocktail bitters, and innovative cocktail ingredients in Portland Maine. It is our goal to use local ingredients to give our bitters a Maine identity.”
Portland’s cocktail culture is making some good strides forward. Maine Craft Distilling recently joined New England Distilling to provide locally produced spirits, craft cocktail bar the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club is under construction on Market Street, a mixology shop called Vena’s Fizz House opened last week, and now Coastal Root will be providing a source for locally produced bitters.