Editorial Standards

I (Matt Pietrek) am a cocktail and spirits writer, consultant and presenter.

I write for my personal site: CocktailWonk.com and other publications. I also do paid consulting, writing, and research for brands in the spirits and cocktail space. I present educational classes and trainings. I also have a self-published book.

My writing appears in three primary forms:

  • CocktailWonk.com: All content on Cocktail Wonk is written of my own volition because I believe it’s a compelling story. I have never accepted financial compensation for anything appearing on CocktailWonk.com. The Cocktail Wonk site does not accept advertising.
  • Print magazines and editorial sites such as Imbibe, PUNCH or Bevvy: Assume I have been paid by the publication itself. I do not accept payment from brands to write about their products in this context.
  • Brand sites: Assume I was commissioned to create the content. Such content will be fact based, e.g. historical context, and not a product endorsement.

I am the Community Envoy for the West indies Rum and Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA). WIRSPA is an advocacy group for rum producers in CARICOM countries, and does not make, buy, or sell any products itself. I receive a modest monthly retainer from WIRSPA to assist them in engaging with the rum community and promoting WIRSPA initiatives. 

I do not accept any compensation to endorse, promote or advocate for brands or their products. That includes, but is not limited to sponsored posts and editorial content.

I have no ongoing financial relationships with any brands.

My writing presents factual information about spirits, brands and distilleries. This may including pictures, historical background, technical information, and production processes. Such information is not an endorsement.

I sometimes receive product samples of potential interest to my audience. Such samples are accepted without commitment to cover the brand or its products. Any opinions expressed expressed about such samples are entirely my own.

I have not written any spirit reviews since January of 2017. This is in large part to reduce the possibility or appearance of conflict of interest.

Regarding expense-paid “press trips”, I do not guaranty any coverage and always retain complete editorial control over what I write. Stories regarding the trip will disclose that my expenses were paid.  

I participate as a judge in blind spirits tastings. I receive no compensation, other than travel expense reimbursement

I promote my book on social media channels and CocktailWonk.com, making it clear that I am the book’s author.


Why am I doing this? I enjoy the world of spirits and cocktails, and their associated communities. I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with other enthusiasts. To date, I have been afforded some amazing opportunities. I seek to create great content to enable more opportunities to come my way.