Scare Yourself To Death With Cheap Thrills

One of my absolute favourite cocktails is the so-called Porn Star Martini. I love that drink but hate that name. It’s not related to the classic Martini, and the Porn Star bit is just embarrassing.

It’s the worst name for a drink ever, and that’s coming from someone who used to work at Houston’s Sports Bar in Milton Keynes in the 1990’s, and I’m not proud of that, I just had to make some scratch in my year out from college, okay?

We used to have a drink there called a Slow Comfortable Screw Against The Wall.

Not one you wanted to take a drink order for.

It justified the name rather weakly by containing sloe gin, Southern Comfort, vodka, orange juice and Galliano. Because Galliano is the key ingredient in a Harvey Wallbanger, a mixed drink made with vodka, Galliano, and orange juice. Get it? Because a vodka and orange juice is a Screwdriver.

Sloe Comfortable Screw Against The Wall. Yes.

This drink has lately managed to make its way into Difford’s Cocktail Book – the bartenders cocktail bible. Which is so encouraging for us all. From humble beginnings….history.

Technically OK but a terrible cocktail name. So while I love the Porn Star Martini, I can’t support its very popular name. Let’s call it the Popular Passion, or the Passion Pop. Or anything rather than the Porn Star Martini.

The recipe is this:

Passion Pop (or WHATEVER)

  1. 1 1/2 ounces vanilla-flavored vodka.
  2. 1/2 ounce passion fruit liqueur (such as Passoã or De Kuyper)
  3. 1 ounce passion fruit puree or juice.
  4. 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed.
  5. 1/2 ounce vanilla simple syrup.
  6. 2 ounces sparkling wine, chilled.
  7. Garnish: 1/2 passion fruit.

It weirdly suggests that you serve a shot glass of sparkling wine on the side. I’ve done a couple of lazy Google searches and I haven’t gained any understanding as to why this should be so.

But I enjoy sparkling wine, so I’m not really arguing. Shake or blend together the rest of the ingredients in a cold shaker with ice, and strain them into a martini glass – traditionally the garnish is half a passion fruit, floating in the drink.

I prefer myself to scoop out the innards of passion fruits when I have them and freeze them into cubes, then add this to the drink. That way you don’t have the hassle of dealing with the shell, which eats into valuable drinking time. It also allows the innards to melt into your drink, which is delightful.

You can easily make your own vanilla vodka by infusing a vanilla pod in a bottle of standard vodka, and making vanilla simple syrup is, well, simple. Click here for directions.

Now we come to the next stage, which is to blow your tiny mind by indulging in a binaural theatrical experience. There are a few interesting ones out there. I can personally recommend the new Wiretapper show SAFE.

Wiretapper are an offshoot of the notorious Shunt theatrical collective. They have been producing experiences using binaural sound for a few years now.

The new show plays on our collective paranoia about the pandemic, working from home and agoraphobia generally.

All you need to do is download the show by visiting the Wiretapper site and buying a ticket. It’s £4.99 which is pretty cheap for a thrill if you ask me. Just click here and follow the instructions. If you struggle to find the site or buy a ticket, just message me.

If you’re reading this after the show has finished, don’t despair. Just let me know, and I’ll sort out a showtime you can access the show through.

SAFE is a 20 minute immersive audio theatrical show delivered directly to your home.

It questions how well we really know our neighbours, and who we can trust. There is an old spooky story where after someone has locked the doors securely before going to bed, a low, terrible tiny voice speaks from somewhere below them: “There we are. All safely locked up for the night.”

This experience gives new life to that voice, and takes us on a trip inside our own personal anxious nightmares. It’s genuinely enjoyable, and I highly recommend it.

Dim the lights, make your Passion Pop or whatever you care to call it, and plug your headphones in for a walk on the dark side.

The charm of this thing is the ability Wiretapper have to deliver a weird show to you at home using just a smartphone, a pair of headphones, and your own imagination.

You can take a step away from the real world to go to a place where you leave your home as you know it and into another one which is subtly darker and more frightening.

SAFE takes you on a ride where the soft drip, drip, drip of tension builds until your shoulders bunch up, then leads you into a finale that will leave you happy to be back in the home you have.

When you surface into your own reality, everything seems calmer and brighter. And we can all use calmness and brightness today, with a little extra passion.

***** A five star review from the Coven.

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