What’s in a drink? The answer: your personality, hundreds of bartenders say. This is a pretty good assertion coming from someone who is a bartender, psychologically trained, and a master at reading people. Anyway, there is science and non-science involved here. Considering the amount of drinkers bartenders encounter every day behind the stick, the research done with subjects all over the world, and the hundreds of studies done, there is sufficient evidence to support these claims or, at least, add a bit of excitement and humor. Although the results can vary from region to region or country to country, they are pretty right on. Take it from me, these results are fascinating. Unless directly quoted, I took the liberty to include the consensus among all bartenders interviewed and featured writers/bloggers (some experts) that are in the industry based on their observations and experiences. Much of the subject matter pertains to the dating scene/romance, picking up the opposite sex, and women, but can be applied to other settings as well. Please don’t take offense. If a drink category doesn’t fit your personality, brush it off. Have fun and enjoy!
There have been numerous articles on what your drink says about you, and while I’m going to write just one more, I’m going to attempt to not only list the personality traits, but explain the underlying reasoning and scientific explanation supporting these assumptions.
First of all, let me preface everything by saying that what you drink isn’t a true representation of who you are all the time, but rather it’s a snapshot of what you’re feeling at that moment in time or most of the time. We are not all one dimensional creatures, and on any given night or week, we could be drinking a plethora of different drinks.
Your drink of choice at a bar or a club is an extension of yourself and what you’re feeling. It’s almost as personal as what you wear and how you decide to represent yourself. We choose drinks that are congruent with our current mental state, we also choose drinks that we believe will resonate with the people that we are trying to attract, or drinks that gain approval amongst social groups. With that in mind, here are some of my findings, both scientific and anecdotal.
Scientists at the University of Manitoba's Alcohol and Tobacco Research Unit found distinct psychological traits associated with the type of liquor people drink. The conclusions were drawn from a detailed survey of 1,247 adults according to whether they preferred beer, hard liquor, or wine.
The study found that beer drinkers tend to be extroverted and ego-driven whereas wine drinkers are much less so. People who drink hard liquor usually fall somewhere in between the other two. The psyche of people who consume a particular type of drink may have as much to do with their choice as much as the health advantages that a particular drink has. Lifestyles of people can also play a part.
"Wine drinkers might be more sophisticated," stated Robert Murray, one of the researchers. "They might eat healthy food and exercise. Beer drinkers and liquor drinkers are more likely to be found sitting in the pub."
Just like there are some drinks you would probably not order at a workplace event – ordering a pina colada or that third vodka on the rocks with a potential client would probably be a no-no – there are also drinks that you shouldn't let others see you drinking, depending on the impression you'd like to make.
Dave Jacobson, bar manager at Restaurant Miami in the trendy Uptown area of Minneapolis, Minn. offers a few thoughts on the message that certain drinks suggest.
“If your date orders a Sex on the Beach, does that foreshadow romance at evening’s end? Don’t count on it, but it’s a good bet your date is feeling fun and flirty – and wants to let everyone know it.”
“Experts, like myself, have made a science out of pegging people’s inner qualities based on their actions. Personality shows up in everything we do, and folks judge us accordingly.”
...to be continued. This is the first series of posts related to this subject. I will detail specific drinks or types of drinks in future posts.