Made You Look: The Porn Star Martini Wants Your Attention

Pornstar Martini
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Spoiler alert: The Porn Star Martini doesn’t resemble a typical martini at all. But let’s be honest, most people who question the drink’s name likely aren’t focusing on the “martini” part. Rather, they’re probably wondering what the heck makes a martini fit for a porn star. (And also, we bet, if they can order this drink at the bar with a straight face.)

One thing is for sure, though: This drink and its polarizing name have been inspiring awkward laughter in bars for the better part of two decades. Here’s the backstory, and why some say the Porn Star Martini’s flippant name helps create a bar culture that’s way less rigid and a lot more fun.

What Is a Porn Star Martini?

Rather than combining gin and vermouth, as would be the case in a classic gin martini, this drink puts passion fruit and vanilla-flavored vodka front and center. The former comes courtesy of sweet-tart passion fruit purée and ruby-colored Passoã, a Brazilian passion fruit-based liqueur.

A glug of Prosecco or other sparkling wine, which is often served as a sidecar, adds effervescent flair.

Why Is It Called a Porn Star Martini?

Invented by Ghanaian-born bartender Douglas Ankrah at the Townhouse Bar in London in 2002, the Porn Star Martini is meant to spark conversation. According to an interview Ankrah did with The Buyer in 2017, he came up with the name because he thought the drink—with its bright, golden hue—looked like something a porn star would drink. It came to while visiting Cape Town, where he was writing his book Shaken and Stirred: Douglas Ankrah’s Cocktails, which eventually came out in 2004. Back in London, Ankrah thought the risque name might help break up the city’s status quo of rigid, strict bars, and create fun environments where people could (actually) loosen up.

But the drink’s recipe predates its attention-grabbing name. The cocktail was actually originally called the Maverick Martini after a gentlemen’s club that Ankrah frequented in South Africa. However, when he came back to London, he renamed the cocktail the Porn Star Martini. The name stuck.

According to The Spirits: A Guide to Modern Cocktailing, the drink even has a connection to royalty. “Apparently Prince Williams wooed Catherine Middleton with one,” writes author Richard Godwin.

How to Make a Porn Star Martini Cocktail

Ingredients
2 ounces vanilla vodka
½ ounce Passoã liqueur
½ ounce passion fruit purée
½ ounce vanilla simple syrup
½ ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
1 ounce Prosecco
1 half fresh passion fruit, for garnish

Directions

Combine vodka, simple syrup, lime juice, Passoã liqueur and purée in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, until chilled and combined, 20 seconds. Pour drink into coup glass. Pour Prosecco on cocktail and garnish with half of a fresh passion fruit.

 

 

 

 

FAQs

How Do You Drink a Porn Star Martini?

Porn Star Martinis should be served in a coupe glass. Why? To start, Porn Star Martinis are served “up,” meaning they are shaken on ice but not actually served on it. The coupe’s handle helps ensure that you won’t change the temperature of the drink by gripping the glass.

The coupe also allows ample room for garnishes. The Porn Star Martini is topped with half a passion fruit and is often served with a sidecar of sparkling wine—so a couple glass ensures ample room to add as much or as little bubbly as you like.

What Are Alternatives to the Porn Star Martini?

If you are looking for alternatives, mix up drinks that put fruit forward, like the Strawberry Moon. For a more citrusy concoction, try mixing up a Hurricane or The White Lady cocktail.

For more of a vodka and fruit-forward drink, mix up a Blackberry Lime Rickey, the Cape Cod or the Huckleberry Martini.

Are You Meant to Shoot the Prosecco?

Our version of the Porn Star Martini calls for pouring Prosecco over the remaining ingredients before tucking in, but some pros prefer to drink the bubbles as a pre-drink shot.

“A [porn star] would drink a glass of Champagne at a club to start their evening, before moving on to velvety smooth cocktails, and this cocktail is all about celebration and having a good night,” drinks expert and Tom Savano Cocktails founder James Kerslake told British publication Metro earlier this year.

“So the way you kick that off is a shot of Champagne to say cheers… Mixing it with the cocktail unbalances the [flavors], ruins the silken feel, and results in a cocktail that doesn’t taste as good as when both separate parts are drunk on their own.”

That said, our advice is to choose your own adventure. Whether you choose to enjoy your Porn Star Martini with Prosecco inside or beside it, there’s no wrong method so long as you enjoy it.

Published on November 28, 2022