Psychology plays a role in almost every aspect of our lives. Be it food, travel, or relationships, there’s usually a reason for everything we do and a clear justification for our tastes and preferences. For Mattias Horseman, ambassador for Hendrick’s Gin, this concept relates to cocktails, too.
“There is a distinct lack of research into the psychology of bartending,” says Horseman, who studied psychology at the University of Chester in England before going behind the bar and into an ambassador role with William Grant & Sons, renowned distillers of Glenfiddich, Tullamore D.E.W., Sailor Jerry, The Balvenie, Milagrotequila, and many more.
“The ability to make a tailored, memorable drink requires a bartender to read people very well, often through meaningful conversation,” something Horseman has been doing for years. From artists to the rebellious, Horseman reveals his insider tips on crafting perfect cocktails for every personality type.
For the Artists
“If you’re creative, you likely display joie de vivre and a passionate zest for life,” says Horseman. Floral, citrus-forward cocktails are perfect for this set. His preferred combination is gin, fresh lemon juice, vanilla simple syrup, plum bitters, and brandied cherries. “This cocktail is best sipped with a powdered sugar rim.”
For the Comedians
“Funny people tend to have incredible showmanship,” says Horseman. “This personality is reflected in the golden era of cocktails, when characters from the likes of Moulin Rouge put on playful performances.” To evoke this spirit, Horseman suggests his Lady Marmalade recipe, a mix of Hendrick’s with plum liqueur, lemon juice, vanilla simple syrup, orange marmalade, and Becherovka, an herbal liqueur from the Czech Republic.
For the Leaders
“Leaders tend to inspire trust,” says Horseman. “As a bartender, I want entrepreneurs to relax while I introduce them to something new and unexpected.” Horseman suggests adding in surprising flavors to a typical old-fashioned or bourbon on the rocks. For his Bonafide on Broadway, Horseman pairs Hudson Baby Bourbon with orange and lemon juice, amber maple syrup, and a fiery splash of Ancho Reyes chile liqueur.
For the Rebellious
“Being rebellious means breaking boundaries and straying from the norm,” says Horseman. “For cocktails, this can mean deviating from traditional recipes like substituting rum for gin in a piña colada.” For those who thrive on mischief, Horseman suggests the Ginny Hendricks, combining the classic Scottish gin with Velvet Falernum and black walnut liqueurs, lemon and pineapple juice, coconut water, and a dash of Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub.
For the Planners
“Planners have a wonderful ability to structure information, which is usually rooted in a solid foundation for success,” says Horseman. For this personality type, Horseman uses a solid spirit as a cocktail’s base, then adds adventurous flavors for balance. His favorite combination, La Vispera, blends gin and The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 Year with Ancho Reyes, a bitter aperitif like Lillet Rouge, and pomegranate grenadine.
For the Globetrotters
“I’m from England, went to school in Switzerland, and now my career involves traveling America,” says Horseman. For travelers like himself, Horseman creates worldly cocktails with global ingredients and a liquor base reflective of a person’s roots. One of his favorite creations is the RastafaRYE, blending milk-washed Sazerac Rye whiskey with mango puree, coconut water, lime juice, and East India Solera sherry.
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