Drinks industry mourns Pornstar Martini creator

The inventor of the Pornstar Martini and co-founder of the London Academy of Bartending (Lab), Douglas Ankrah, has passed away.

His family announced in a Facebook post: The Legendary Douglas Ankrah of #PornstarMartini fame is no more. A mighty oak, that was my baby brother, has indeed fallen. Our family is heartbroken.

John Gakuru, former bar manager of LAB said: “I had and will always have the utmost respect for him, his work ethic and the leg up in the industry he gave me. Lab Bar changed my life exponentially for the better, and I am forever grateful.

“Doug lived life his way, much like Lab cocktail specs… with two bar spoons of vanilla sugar! He just made everything sweeter. Rest in Power Doug. Your legacy lives on through those of us whose lives you impacted so profoundly.”

Ankrah (above) co-founded Lab in 1999, which became a training ground for leading bartenders including Altos Tequila co-creator Dre Masso and Manly Spirits distiller Tim Stones.

Stones told The Spirits Business: “LAB has been the start of many bartenders’ careers. If you look at the alumnus of the place, it reads like a who’s who of drinks industry legends.

“I was lucky enough to spend the best part of four eye-opening years there and it became a turning point in my career. I still proudly reference it any chance I get, such was its influence. LAB will always be a special place to me.”

Ankrah went on to create one of the world’s most popular cocktails in 2002 at The Townhouse Bar in London: the Pornstar Martini – a mix of vanilla vodka, fresh passionfruit, passionfruit liqueur, vanilla syrup and lime juice, with a shot of Champagne on the side.

“It was a complete accident,” he told Punch. “Sometimes writing a song can take two minutes or a year. I created this in 15 minutes or less. Like how Mick and Keith wrote ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ in 10 minutes.”

Ankrah noted to The Buyer: “The drink is very evocative and tantalising. I called it Pornstar because I thought it was something that a Pornstar would drink, there’s nothing sexual there.”

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