Mixologist Philip Ward of Mayahuel - Biography
New York, NY
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, Philip Ward made his way to NYC the long way round, via Europe and Africa with a pack strapped to his back. In 2003 a fortuitous barback position at the Flatiron Lounge anchored Ward to The States and introduced him to mixology. After three years of hands-on education, he found himself in the post of head bartender.
Putting his expertise to use, Ward next joined with Audrey Saunders to open Pegu Club on the border of SoHo and the West Village. He oversaw the bar program until an opportunity came along that he couldn’t pass up. In early 2007 Ward helped open and operate the speakeasy-style temple to the cocktail, Death and Co. He fell in love with the intimate atmosphere and strived to perfect his artisan approach to mixology.
Two years later, with Death and Co. flourishing and his reputation firmly cemented in the upper echelons of mixo society, Ward ventured out on his own. He opened the tequila- and mezcal-centric Mayahuel, just down the street from Death and Co. After garnering national acclaim for his barback alchemy—including three consecutive nominations for Bartender of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail and win for Best New Bar for Mayahuel—Ward officially launched his consulting company, Last Call Consulting with partner Katie Stipe, in 2009. When he’s not behind the bar, Ward consults around the country and has opened saloons from Philadelphia’s Tequilas to San Diego’s Commerce, as well as overseeing the Auberge Hotel Group’s bar program.