by Alex Gonzalez
After almost a week of stormy and frigid weather conditions, the weather finally cleared up this past Saturday for over 100 guests to enjoy an Alice in Wonderland-themed Mad Hatter Tipsy Tea Party at La Duni Latin Kitchen. Curating the tea party was Mattias Horseman, a brand ambassador for Hendrick’s Gin, who sponsored the Tipsy Tea Party.
Horseman, who hails from England, began bartending at age 18, while he was studying Psychology at University of Chester.
“I was actually putting myself through university while I was working as a bartender,” Horseman said. “At one point, I realized, ‘wait a minute, I’m sort of a therapist, in a strange and pseudo way.’ My career and my passion came colliding in that beautiful moment. From that moment forward, everything I did, I focused on the psychology of hospitality.
Horseman is an advocate for mental health in the hospitality industry.
“My first dissertation was called ‘On the Rocks with a Twist on Mental Health,’ and it was a multidimensional analysis on the bartender’s role,” Horseman said. “My second one was called ‘Make it a Double,’ and it was a comprehensive analysis on stress on frontline hospitality workers. Through both of those, I actually developed frameworks for maximizing the efficiency with which bartenders can deal with stress. It was very impactful on my life.”
Before bartending, Horseman had a flair for fashion. As a teenager, he designed men’s ties, and even was accepted into Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Horseman ultimately declined the admission invitation, however, he believes the fashion industry and the hospitality industry go hand in hand.
“Fashion houses dictate a lot of cultures.” Horseman said. “I’ve heard designers say ‘we don’t design costumes, we design a culture.’ I think that principle applies with cocktails as well, you design a culture around drinking.”
Regardless of anyone’s line of work, Horseman believes self-care and routine are vital for good mental health.
“Self-care is a very interesting concept, especially when the lines between work and your home life are so often blurred,” Horseman said. “For me, it’s not about resting, it’s about resetting. Setting your own schedule is something that is super key.”
Horseman’s daily routine consists of going for a walk, going to the gym, grabbing a cup of coffee, and heading to work.
“You have to maintain a balance,” Horseman says. “True well-being is when what you say, what you feel, and what you do are all in line. If it’s outside of that, you start to see your well-being skew.”
Horseman has been living in Austin, TX for three weeks now, spending his days crafting Hendrick’s Gin-based beverages and serving as an ambassador for the brand. He hopes to inspire future generations of bartenders to pursue their passions.