When assessing information, it’s important to understand the source’s motivations biases, and financial incentives. In the spirit of disclosure, I set forth mine below
I (Matt Pietrek) am a cocktail and spirits writer, consultant and presenter.
I have two self-published books: Modern Caribbean Rum, and Minimalist Tiki, from which I derive incoming. I also write for various publications, including two personal sites: Rum Wonk and Cocktail Wonk. I also undertake consulting project, writing, and research for brands in the spirits and cocktail space. I present educational classes and trainings for individuals and brands.
My writing appears in four primary forms:
RumWonk.com: All Rum Wonk is written by me. The site does not accept financial compensation or incentives for content, and there is no advertising.
CocktailWonk.com: All Cocktail Wonk is written by me, except where clearly noted, i.e., unpaid guest post. The site does not accept financial compensation or incentives for content, and there is no advertising.
Periodicals (print and online, such as Imbibe, and Punch): I have been paid by the publication. I do not write “advertorials” for brands.
Brand sites: I have been paid by the brand as a freelance writer and without ongoing commitment.
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. (Think of it as the rum equivalent of the Scotch Whisky Association or Kentucky Bourbon Association.) I receive a small monthly retainer from WIRSPA to assist them in engaging with the rum community and educate on WIRSPA initiatives.
I do not accept any compensation to endorse, promote or advocate for brands or spirit producers. That includes but is not limited to sponsored posts and editorial content.
I have no ongoing financial relationships with any brand or spirit producer.
My writing presents factual information about spirits, brands and spirit producers, including pictures, historical background, and technical information. Such information is not an endorsement.
I occasionally receive product samples. Such samples are accepted without commitment to cover the brand or its products. Any opinions expressed regarding these samples are my own and free of financial incentive.
I have not written spirit reviews since 2017. This primarily to reduce any possibility or appearance of conflict of interest.
When travelling to see a brand or producer facility, I may have my travel expenses paid for. I do not guaranty any coverage and retain complete editorial control over what I write, should I choose to write about the trip. If I do write about the trip, I will disclose that my travel expenses were paid.
I occasionally participate as a judge in spirits competition. I receive no compensation, other than travel expense reimbursement
I promote my books on social media channels, RumWonk.com and CocktailWonk.com.