I have to say, sometimes I still feel a little nostalgic for the early, heady days of the cocktail renaissance. A small group of bartenders were discovering cocktails, ingredients, and flavors. And I was following along in my little corner of the world, soaking up every new morsel of knowledge I could get my hot little hands on, while I read everything I could about these legends from around the world.
No drink for me sums up the early 2000s for me better than the Porn Star Martini. When I first stumbled across bartender Douglas Ankrah’s famous, salaciously-named cocktail, originally created at London’s Townhouse bar and eventually moved over to a starring role at LAB bar, I was hooked.
Believe it or not, up until this time I’d never tasted passionfruit before.
Give me a break, okay? I certainly wasn’t getting my hands on fresh passionfruit in the small Oregon town I was living in at the time, and i guess it’s one of those things that just… passed me by. At any rate, I was hooked on the flavor once I tried it.
It’s one of those guilty pleasure drinks that hits a very primal chord in the olfactory department, like the candy-sweet vanilla perfume found at a mall lingerie shop. The drink is aptly named: it very figuratively smells like sex.
I like to borrow Giuseppe Gonzalez’s idea of adding a little fresh lime juice to round the drink out a bit, which is then sweetened back up with just a touch more sugar than the original recipe called for. I mean, it’s called a Porn Star Martini, for chrissake, not a Dry Gin Martini.
Porn Star Martini
1.5 ounces vodka
.75 ounce passion fruit purée (fresh if you can get it, frozen if you can’t)
.75 ounce 1:1 vanilla simple syrup
.25 ounce lime juice
Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a spent passionfruit cup if you’ve got one, a thin lime wheel if you don’t. Serve with a side shot of Champagne or prosecco.