I’m a little sad today. It’s not Jenn’s fault, mostly. It’s probably not even fair for me to feel this way, but I don’t really care. Today is her birthday and I’m bummed to be celebrating it “virtually” from half a country away. To be fair, we have not celebrated it together in three years, as social media keeps reminding me… relentlessly. Seriously, the last couple of days, my “memories” have been a constantly wonderful inundation of photos of us eating, drinking, laughing and generally causing a commotion in chase of the perfect shenanigan. If I am honest, I am not really sad, I’m just missing the good times we have had sharing our own brand of charm with our occasionally adoring fans. So, with a nod toward the past and the hope of good times to come won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Porn Star Martini.

Let’s get something clear right off the bat, this is not a martini. It’s a cocktail served in a martini glass. Hold on, that’s not right either. There is no such thing as a “martini glass” that glass with the typical inverted triangle shape we associate with the martini is actually a “cocktail glass”. Another point of order, my pal Jenn is not, to the best of my knowledge, a Porn Star, so the choice of this drink to “honor” her seems odd. However, months ago she called me from a bar insisting that I drop everything and go out to get a bottle of passion fruit liqueur, immediately. She said the urgency was because I need to try it and, more importantly, I needed to make a cocktail for her with it. Naturally, this is why I have waited all this time to finally fulfill her request. So, we have a cocktail in a cocktail glass, served with a champagne sidecar called a Porn Star Martini made for someone who is not a porn star, allegedly. Yeah, I know. There are a lot of moving parts here, so try to keep up.

This drink first hit the scene in the early 2000’s at The Townhouse Bar in Knightsbridge, London. When Douglas Ankrah first crafted this drink, it popped up on the menu as the Maverick Martini, named for “a dodgy club in Cape Town” as he said. That did not last long as it shed the original name and even the backstory that it was inspired by a strippers perfume, to become the modern classic, Porn Star Martini. This evolution of the drink would find it described as “pure indulgence, sexy fun and evocative” when it hit the LAB Bar Menu, “something that a porn star would drink.” Those are all excellent reasons to make this drink, but I am making it solely because this seems to be the flagship cocktail for the passion fruit liqueur Jenn was so enamored with, so here we are.

Grab your tins and popping 1 1/2 ounces of vanilla vodka, I chose Corsair Vanilla Bean; 1/2 an ounce of passion fruit liqueur, I went with Passoa; 3/4 of an ounce of passion fruit puree, 1/2 an ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice, 1/2 an ounce of vanilla simple syrup and 2 drops of Bittermen’s New England Spiced Cranberry Bitters, as a nod to the birthday girl’s dubious origins. Add some of that artisanal ice and give it a good shake to Sting’s “All Four Seasons” till the frost begins to form on your tins. Double strain into a cocktail glass, but choose something delightfully quirky and unexpectedly beautiful in the right light, if it is slightly suggestive, so be it. Garnish with a single dahlia, rife with symbolism and murky meaning, fresh from your garden, before filling a shot glass with your sparkling wine of choice, I went with Aldi’s second finest from Burlwood Cellars. The “champagne” sidecar here is kind of brilliant. It is meant as a palate cleanser, but it also classes up the joint a bit, don’t you think?

That is surprisingly lovely. Sure it is a bit sweet, but there is a fun kind of complexity going on in there with the vanilla and passion fruit constantly one-upping each other in a battle of good hearted complementarianism. Last year, I made a Psycho Killer to celebrate this most auspicious of days. That one was dark and bitter and complex on levels I am still not sure I fully comprehend. This drink is the polar opposite. I was inspired to make two drinks for the same person that are on completely different ends of the spectrum and they are both appropriate. That says a lot about the recipient, and the author, if I am fair. That sidecar is clever too. Whenever you feel like this one is just a little too sweet, a small sip of that brut sparkling wine cuts right through it in a very nice way. Don’t be tempted to just pour it into the drink though, that doesn’t work in the same way and diminishes them both. They work well together, but with a little space in between. What can I say, sometimes that is just how things work out. Kahlil Gibran had some great things to say about that, but he never drank a Porn Star Martini, so I am not sure he’s entirely relevant here. It’s a tasty drink though and isn’t it ever so lovely? Seriously, do you see that thing?

This is the part where I should probably say kind things about the little sister I never wanted. The little sister, who is, to be fair, older than me. Not a lot, but enough to matter. Sometimes I love her, mostly I hate her, but I am almost never ambivalent about her. I do miss her, though, and I hate that we aren’t terrorizing the lovely barfolk of Boston, or some other more temperate clime, with our inimitable wit and charm in celebration of another flip of the old calendar. I mean, on some level, it is a bit of a relief, it’s a lot of hard work being so entertaining. I do hate it for the kids, though. Those unfortunate, bored front of house people, who will miss out on joining us as we have more fun than most, blowing out the candles on another year. Once again, that’s a whole lot of words, just to say “I know”, but well, I still do. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane my friend, I hate you too.