Pornstar Martini

Dessert-like to taste, theatrical and flippantly named - an icon of the cocktail world.

Provocative, punchy and packed with passionfruit, the Pornstar Martini has been sitting comfortably high on cocktail bar menus and late-night Google rankings since its invention almost 20 years ago.

While the name may raise an eyebrow or two, the cocktail itself raises roofs with its sticky sweet make up and Prosecco chaser – it’s a little bit dramatic, a little bit ridiculous and the exact answer to the riddle your brain poses when it’s on the quest for something a little bit fruity.

1 serving
  • 50 ml Vanila Vodka
  • 25 ml Passionfruit Liqueur
  • 25 ml Passionfruit puree
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanila Sugar
  • Sparkling Wine
  1. Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, sugar, liqueur and passionfruit puree. Shake until your fingers ache, then shake some more – you want to build a good head.
  2. Strain into a coupe, then top with half a passionfruit, seed side up. Finish by serving your Pornstar Martini alongside a shot of Prosecco.
Pornstar Martini Cocktail recipe
Pornstar Martini Cocktail recipe

Top Tips

Writing passionfruit liqueur feels like a great attempt to avoid product placement, like when the lead actor in a low budget romcom swipes right on an app call Kindle or Embers or Firestarter. Sure, when a recipe calls for passionfruit liqueur one name rings out above them all, but we’re here to tell you that this is the roaring 20s and there’s more to life than just Passoa. Stafford Distillery’s SunBear Passionfruit Liqueur will see you right, as will De Kuyper Passionfruit Liqueur, or Blend, or Passini, or any of the many, many bottles haunting the world’s off-licenses, online and off. Use whatever you can get your hands on – this is a forgiving cocktail.

Passionfruit puree makes the job a whole lot simpler, but if you’re feeling wholesome and have a few more passionfruits to hand then you would do well to tip the contents into a strainer and create your own puree. You may have to add a little more sugar to the overall mix, though.

Sparkling wine is a vague term (some might even say its sacrilege), but we really don’t think it makes any odds to the overall experience. Bars, for the most part, tent to opt for the more financially prudent Prosecco*, but the original was made with Champagne, so if you’re feeling loyal that’s the path to take. Still, if you have a bottle of Cava rattling around in the fridge, have at it – anything goes. If you are looking for more advice - we've got an article here: Best Bubbles for Cocktails

In terms of the shot itself - some drink it separately, some add it to the drink as a float. Just as with the choice of bubbles – anything goes what you do it too.

*Prosecco wasn’t a huge staple of British drinking culture when the Pornstar Martini first emerged. In fact, the cocktails creator liked to think he had something to do with an increase in sales of the Italian wonder juice.

A Brief, Inebriated History

Rejoice! A cocktail’s whose history holds no contention, the Pornstar Martini was created in 2003 by the late, great bartender Douglas Ankrah, who sadly died in August 2021 at the cruelly young age of 51. 

Ankrah first shook up the cocktail at the Townhouse in Knightsbridge, London, giving it it’s unusual moniker because it looked like something pornstar would drink. Speaking to Master of Malt in 2019, Ankrah attributed the success of the cocktail in part to its name – it’s cheeky and completely unforgettable – and partly to its serve (a shot of Champers on the side? How theatrical!).

There is a must-read interview with Ankrah in Distilled Magazine (find it here) where he discusses the Pornstar Martini in depth. In it, he says that the general vibe he was going for with this cocktail was dessert – he wanted to create an after-dinner drink that people could re-visit throughout the evening.

It didn’t take long for the Pornstar Martini to fly the coup, running straight from its West London home to cocktail bars across the world. It is sold in high class hotels and top name bars, with an army of fans choosing it for its sweet simplicity. 

It even has a pseudonym, for those too shy to blurt out its real name: The Maverick Martini, so named for a strip club in Cape Town that Ankrah visited just before he made the cocktail for the very first time. The Maverick was actually the name he initially gave to his most famous concoction, but somehow Pornstar stuck. 

Douglas Ankrah’s Pornstar Martini

50ml Vanilla Vodka
20ml Passoa
50ml Passionfruit Puree
2 teaspoons Vanilla Sugar
Half a passionfruit. 

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By Leah Gasson