Joel Harrison is an award winning drinks writer, presenter and host, and creative consultant, aiming to enliven the world of distilled spirits to new drinkers while cementing the knowledge of those already invested in the category.
Drinks Writer, Host and Presenter
Joel, who specialises in whisky and other fine spirits, has been a professional drinks writer for over a decade, contributing to a number of different publications such as WIRED, The Telegraph, Whisky Magazine and The Wall Street Journal India, World of Fine Wines, Sphere as well as other magazines around the world. He is currently the Spirits Editor for Club Oenologique Magazine.
Wider media work has seen television appearances on major daytime TV shows, with a regular slot on Channel 4's magazine show Sunday Brunch and The Ultimate Shopping List with Michel Roux Jr, as well as radio work across the UK, America and India. Harrison has also presented a series of educational videos for WSET on Cognac, and hosted tastings for a number of clients including The Telegraph, the Royal Household, Selfridges, as well as private client work, and acting as an independent voice at brand events.
His debut book Distilled won the Best Drink Book 2015 at the Fortum & Mason Food and Drink Awards. It is now in multiple languages world-wide, included both simple and complex Chinese, Korean, and Spanish. His second book, Straight Up: A Guide To Global Drinking was shortlisted as one of the top 10 spirits books of 2017 at the Tales of the Cocktail 'Spirited Awards', and his third book, The World Atlas Of Gin, was released in Sept 2019 and picked up a gold medal at the Gastronomische Akademie in Germany. 60-Seconds Cocktails. In 2020 'The Spirit of London: The Story of Beefeater Gin' was released, conceptualised and written by Harrison and Neil Ridley, winning a Scottish design award. His fifth book is out September 2022 in the USA, UK, and German-speaking countries. All three books are published by Mitchell Beazley/Octopus.
Joel has been made a Keeper of the Quaich, the highest honour in Scotch whisky, a member of Compagnie des Mousquetaires d’Armagnac in the world of brandy, and made a 'Rectifier' in the Gin Guild, making him one of the most awarded drinks writers globally, supported by his position as WSET trained spirits educator. Harrison was included in the 2019 'Future 50' list as just one of 16 people under the age of 40 selected to be singled out for praise for their work in the drinks industry.
Joel sits as a judge on the IWSC awards, World Whisky Awards, the Spirits Masters, IMBIBE Awards and has acted as the Chairman of the Independent Bottlers Challenge (whisky) as well as the Automobile Association Awards for the hospitality industry (The AA Awards) and other key awards within the world of hospitality.
Joel runs the creative marketing consultancy, Caskstrength Creative with his long-time collaborator and business partner Neil Ridley, designing, developing and implementing creative concepts, new product development, copywriting and educated communication between customer and client across the beverage sector.