Douglas Ankrah, who also co-founded the groundbreaking London cocktail bar ‘Lab’, was dubbed an industry ‘pioneer’.
His family shared the news on social media as tributes poured in from across the industry.
His cause of death has not been confirmed though the trade outlet Master of Malt reports Ankrah had a history of heart problems and ‘went peacefully in his sleep’.
The Ghanaian-born entrepreneur invented the Pornstar Martini in 2003 while he was working at his cocktail bar Townhouse, in Knightsbridge, west London. The cocktail features a mix of vanilla vodka, fresh passion fruit, passion fruit liqueur, vanilla syrup and lime juice, plus a shot of Prosecco on the side.
Since its creation, the Pornstar Martini has regularly featured in top cocktail lists and was this month revealed as the World’s most popular cocktail, based on Google search data.
Ankrah is said to have come up with the name after a trip to a gentlemen’s club in Cape Town, telling Master of Malt in 2019: ‘The cocktail was so sexy and looked like what a pornstar would drink.’
He added: ‘When I first made it, I had no idea it was going to be neo classic’, but he later created a bottled version, because he was fed up of tasting badly-made versions of his tipple.
Ankrah told the publication: ‘It’s like writing a great song that’s being covered very badly. It’s one of the reasons I bottled my creation. At least I have done it justice.’
A post from his family shared online reads: ‘The Legendary Douglas Ankrah of #PornstarMartini fame is no more. The mighty oak […] has indeed fallen. Our family is heartbroken. Our mum is inconsolable.’
‘Dee left us without saying goodbye. We will let you know when we have further details.
‘Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers from the Ankrah, Engmann, Azu, Buckle and extended families.’
The entrepreneur said of his creation in 2018: ‘At Townhouse, the Pornstar Martini became our anthem.
‘It became a lifeline for Townhouse and for a lot of other bars in London.’
The drink became so popular that Ankrah decided to bottle his creation and sell a pre-mixed version, in part because he said he was tired of tasting poor attempts at the cocktail.
He said: ‘It’s like writing a great song that’s being covered very badly. It’s one of the reasons I bottled my creation. At least I have done it justice.’
Ankrah was also well-known for co-founding Soho-based London Academy of Bartenders (Lab).
Lab was opened in 1999 and was originally a training school for bartenders but became one of the most popular cocktail spots in London and a training ground for some of the industry’s leading bartenders.