The pornstar martini has a catchy name and a taste that's sure to capture anyone's attention. This stunning cocktail quickly became one of the United Kingdom's favorite drinks after its debut in the early 2000s. With the first sip, you'll realize why it's now considered a modern classic.
Added as both a puree and a liqueur, passion fruit is the star of this fruity vodka martini. The tart tropical fruit is paired with the sweet softness of vanilla to create a lovely, bright yellow drink. This is not a single-glass cocktail, though. To complete the experience, you'll pour a shot of sparkling wine in a second glass and alternate sips between the two. Most often Champagne or prosecco, the wine "back" acts as a sort of bubbly palate cleanser that accents and tames the sharp taste of passion fruit more than the vanilla vodka and sugar could do alone.
Though the original recipe requires specific ingredients that are not commonly used in cocktails, it's easy to mix up. There are also a number of adaptations that you can make to personalize it to your taste or to ingredients that you have on hand.
Gather the ingredients.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the vodka, passion fruit puree, liqueur, and vanilla sugar.
Garnish with a passion fruit cut in half, floating it on top as a "boat." Pour the sparkling wine into a small glass on the side. Serve, following each drink of the cocktail with a sip of wine. Enjoy.
- As with many martinis, choosing quality ingredients is highly recommended for the best flavor. Fresh passion fruit puree and vanilla sugar and top-shelf vanilla vodka and passion fruit liqueur will produce a better tasting cocktail. For the wine, choose a nice bottle; prosecco is often less expensive than French Champagne.
- To quickly make vanilla sugar, combine 1/4 to 1/2 cup of white sugar with the seeds of one vanilla bean. Combine them using a mortar and pestle or food processor. In a pinch, it can also be mixed with a fork. The sugar will pick up more vanilla flavor the longer you let it set, though this concentrated formula can be used right away. Store extra in an airtight container at room temperature.
- There are a number of options for purchasing passion fruit puree. It's produced by gourmet food companies and those that specialize in nonalcoholic cocktail mixers (e.g., Finest Call, Amoretti). Look for it in specialty food stores or well-stocked liquor stores; it's also easy to find online.
- Passoã is one of the best-known passion fruit liqueurs. Other brands that specialize in fruit liqueurs, including Alizé, Bols, and Giffard, offer the flavor as well.
- Garnish the cocktail with a lemon twist if you can't find fresh passion fruit.
- Use unflavored vodka if you prefer.
- Skip the puree and pour 2 ounces each of vodka and passion fruit liqueur instead.
- Use 3/4 to 1 ounce of vanilla syrup as a substitute for the vanilla sugar.
- Many people enjoy adding extra fruit flavors to the pornstar martini. Try it with 1 1/2 ounces of either passion fruit liqueur or puree, then add 1/2 ounce of pineapple or apple juice.
- Some recipes call for a splash of either lemon or lime juice. This may create a drink that's too tart when made with fresh passion fruit but might balance out the drink when made with passion fruit liqueur alone or a sweetened puree.
How to Make a Passion Fruit Purée
Fresh passion fruit may not be readily available everywhere, but it's easy to make into a puree. For one martini, you'll need about four passion fruits—this is also the minimum that the average blender can work with because there's not much inside the small fruit.
- Cut each passion fruit in half on a plate to capture the juices.
- Scrape the pulp and seeds out of the shells and into the blender pitcher along with any remnants on the plate.
- Blend for about 2 minutes until it's an even consistency.
- Pour the contents through a fine-mesh strainer, using a spoon or spatula to shuffle it around to release more of the juicy puree from the seeds. Some tiny pieces of seed will fall through; not only are they edible, but the black specks add to the cocktail's presentation.
- Use in the cocktail and refrigerate any extra in a sealed container.
Why Is It Called a Pornstar Martini?
An unusual name, the pornstar martini was originally named after a club in Cape Town, South Africa, and known as the "maverick martini." The recipe was created in the early 2000s by Douglas Ankrah, founder of the London Academy of Bartending. Ankrah opened London's Townhouse bar in 2002, and the cocktail was one of the featured drinks on the menu. It was not until he renamed it as the pornstar martini that it really took off. Ankrah has said that he thought the drink looked like something a porn star would drink.
How Do You Drink a Pornstar Martini?
It's traditional to drink a pornstar martini by first taking a sip of the cocktail followed by a small sip of sparkling wine. Enjoy at your leisure, sipping the wine after each drink of cocktail.
How Strong Is a Pornstar Martini?
Even when you factor in the sparkling wine, the pornstar martini is not much stronger than the wine itself. Its lower alcohol content is attributed to the fact that vanilla vodka is most often 70 proof and the main cocktail contains a high volume of nonalcoholic fruit puree. On average, the two-part drink will weigh in around 15 percent ABV (30 proof). It is one of the lower-proof "martinis," making it tempting to enjoy a second round. Just keep in mind that some people find that the wine's carbonation speeds up intoxication.