It’s World Cocktail Day! Hurrah! What’s everyone doing? We thought we’d celebrate by making the UK’s favourite cocktail, the Pornstar Martini!
Cast your minds back to 2003 if you will. Every mobile phone was made by Nokia, most bars had just two varieties of gin and if you said ‘pop-up’ to someone, they would assume you were talking about a children’s book. It seems a long time ago, doesn’t it? But it was also the year that Douglas Ankrah invented that most current of cocktails, the Pornstar Martini, at the Townhouse in Knightsbridge – his landmark bar that helped put London on the cocktail map. “I first created the Pornstar Martini circa 2003 in London”, he told us. The name came about because “the cocktail was so sexy and looked what a pornstar would drink”, he said. Can’t argue with that. Ankrah also founded another legendary London bar, LAB (London Academy of Bartenders) in Soho, which opened in 1999 and finally closed its doors in 2016. It was here that the Pornstar Martini became a sensation.
Ankrah said, “when I first made it, I had no idea it was going to be neo classic.” Now, 16 years later, Ankrah’s creation is the nation’s favourite cocktail (according to a report just released by Diageo). I asked Ankrah why he thought it was so popular: “It has to be the name, the serve, and, of course, the Champagne shot on the side”, he said. It’s easy to see the appeal: the Pornstar Martini is fun to order; a bit rude, without being embarrassing like those ‘90s favourites such as a Slow Comfortable Screw Against the Wall or a Screaming Orgasm; it’s sweet and delicious. Mainly, though, I think, the reason it is so popular now is that it looks particularly good on Instagram.
If Ankrah received a penny from every Pornstar Martini served, he’d be a very rich man. Sadly, there are no royalties from cocktails, so Ankrah has released a bottled version: “I’ve got to sell the bottled version of my famous cocktail to make those pennies”, he joked. Part of the logic for launching his own product was because he was sick of tasting badly made Pornstar Martinis: “It’s like writing a great song that being covered very badly. It’s one of the reasons I bottled my creation. At least I have done it justice”, he said.
What’s in a Pornstar Martini?
But rather than use the bottled version, it’s much more fun to make your own. Ankrah uses passion fruit puree but you can use fresh passion fruit though you’ll need to give it a good strain.This recipe calls for Passoa passion fruit liqueur but soon Ankrah will be launching his own version, called, coyly, P*star Passion Fruit liqueur. Watch this space.
This is his recipe for the perfect Pornstar Martini.
Shake ingredients with ice and double strain into a chilled Martini glass. Float half a passionfruit on top and serve with a shot of Champagne on the side. You could use Prosecco or Cava but then that’s not very pornstar now is it?
*You can buy this or make your own by adding vanilla beans or extract to caster sugar.
Douglas Ankrah died on 16 August 2021. Here is a little tribute to him.