Close Menu

Pornstar Martini creator Douglas Ankrah dies

Douglas Ankrah, the inventor of the Pornstar Martini and co-founder of groundbreaking London bar Lab, has died.

Ankrah invented the Pornstar Martini in 2005

Ankrah’s family announced his passing in a Facebook post yesterday (16 August): “The Legendary Douglas Ankrah of #PornstarMartini fame is no more. A mighty oak has indeed fallen.”

The Ghanaian-born bar entrepreneur was a key figure in London’s cocktail community. In 1999, he co-founded the Soho-based London Academy of Bartending (Lab), a venue that quickly became an industry hub and a training ground for leading bartenders; veterans include Altos Tequila co-creator Dre Masso, Bombay Sapphire ambassador Andrea Montague and Manly Spirits distiller Tim Stones, among many others.

Building on the momentum of Lab, Ankrah went on to open Townhouse in Knightsbridge in 2002, which closed eight years later.

At the latter bar, Ankrah developed the cocktail that became his legacy. The Pornstar Martini is a mix of vanilla vodka, fresh passionfruit, passionfruit liqueur, vanilla syrup and lime juice, plus a shot of Champagne on the side. The flashy, fun serve now features on drinks lists internationally, sitting alongside modern classics such as the Paper Plane and the Espresso Martini. It is among the most popular cocktails in the UK.

Lab served its final drink in 2016 and became the site of award-winning bar Swift, but Ankrah remained an important influence in the world of cocktails. He debuted a ready-to-drink version of the Pornstar Martini in 2017, and continued to champion the serve as he worked as a consultant.

The Facebook post from Ankrah’s family concluded: “We will let you know when we have further details. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.”

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No