This week on The Speakeasy, Damon sits and chats with Michael J. Neff of Ward III & Rum House. Tune in to hear how he and his journeymen bartender colleagues turned their dreams into reality with Ward III and what it takes to run a successful bar in New York City. Find out why Michael prefers free pouring over jiggers, and how it changes the drink making process. Why is it so hard to get a good cocktail at a sports bar? Why do some “cocktail bars” frown upon people ordering vodka sodas? Hear more about what Damon and Michael think about the “golden age of bartending” and what developments are taking place across the country. This program was sponsored by Hearst Ranch.


“[With Ward III], we wanted to see what would happen if journeymen bartenders opened the bar they’ve always wanted.”

“We’re not trying to be all things to all people, but to me the word bar implies that you can get a cocktail.”

“Free pouring is a very interesting art…it’s a matter of training.”

–Michael J. Neff on The Speakeasy