Van Gogh Cocktail Recipe

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Van Gogh Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:20%

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Van Gogh cocktail is inspired by the famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, known for his unique and colorful artwork. This cocktail is a tribute to his creativity and vibrant use of colors. It is a favorite among art enthusiasts and those who appreciate a visually stunning drink.

  • The cocktail was created in the late 20th century
  • It is popular in upscale bars and art-themed events
  • The drink's presentation is meant to evoke the vivid colors and textures of Van Gogh's paintings

How Van Gogh Tastes?

The Van Gogh cocktail is a refreshing, fruity, and slightly tart drink. It has a well-balanced combination of sweet and sour flavors, with a hint of bitterness from the orange liqueur. The overall taste is smooth, light, and easy to drink.

Interesting facts about Van Gogh

  • The cocktail is named after Vincent van Gogh, a famous Dutch painter
  • The drink's vibrant colors are inspired by Van Gogh's unique painting style
  • The cocktail is often served at art-themed events and upscale bars


A few good options for Van Gogh are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


Vodka is the artist's canvas here, a neutral base that lets the other flavors express themselves. At 1.5 oz, it’s just enough to feel the warmth without the fiery burn. Less, and you might wonder if you're just sipping fruity punch; more, and it could overshadow the cocktail’s subtlety.

Mary Mitkina

Blue Curacao

This vibrant, blue-hued liqueur adds a touch of whimsy and tropical flair, reminiscent of Van Gogh's vibrant skies. At 0.5 oz, it adds just enough exotic flavor without turning the drink into an overly sweet, tropical potion. Substitute with Blue Curaçao syrup for a non-alcoholic version, and watch your masterpiece turn a bit more Picasso than Van Gogh.

Alex Green

Orange Liqueur

Another 0.5 oz of this deepens the citrus profile, providing a balanced sweet and bitter note, like the undertones of a good conversation. Ditch it, and the cocktail loses a layer of complexity. Swap with Triple Sec or Cointreau for variety; the former is lighter, the latter, richer.

Emma Rose

Lemon Juice

Just half an ounce adds a sharp, tangy dimension, giving the cocktail its needed brightness and acidity. Imagine it as the zest in Van Gogh's 'Starry Night'—without it, the drink would be a tad too sweet, a night without stars. A lime could be a substitute, but it'd be a different kind of masterpiece.

Mary Mitkina

Simple Syrup

The sweet mediator, 0.5 oz ensures harmony among the sharp and bold flavors. Without it, you might pucker more than intended. Consider honey or agave as alternatives for a more complex, earthy sweetness.

Alex Green


A full cup chills the liquid colors, melding them together. No ice, and you'll spoil the refreshing essence of the cocktail, like a museum without air conditioning—unbearable!

Emma Rose

Orange Wheel

More than just garnish, it's a visual cue and a hint of freshness. Skip it, and you cheat the senses; it’s a touch of 'Sunflowers' in your drink.

Mary Mitkina


A dash deepens the visual complexity, creating a sunset at the bottom of the glass. The omission of it would make the cocktail as incomplete as Van Gogh’s 'Interrupted Dream.'

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Van Gogh Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add vodka, blue curacao, orange liqueur, lemon juice, and simple syrup
  3. Shake well until chilled
  4. Strain into a chilled martini glass
  5. Slowly pour a dash of grenadine into the glass, allowing it to sink to the bottom and create a gradient effect
  6. Garnish with an orange wheel

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to ensure all ingredients are well mixed
  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for a more authentic taste
  • Chill the martini glass before serving to keep the cocktail cold for longer

Perfect Pairings


  • Creamy dips: The citrus notes in the cocktail can cut through the richness of cream-based dips, such as spinach artichoke dip or a garlic aioli.
  • Cheese platters: A selection of cheeses, particularly those with a bit of tang like goat cheese or sharp cheddar, will complement the sweet and sour profile of the Van Gogh cocktail.

Main Courses

  • Grilled seafood: The lemon juice in the cocktail would balance well with the natural flavors of grilled fish or shrimp.
  • Crispy fried foods: The acidity and sweetness can be a refreshing palate cleanser for foods with heavier textures like fried chicken or tempura vegetables.


  • Fruit tarts: The citrus elements in the cocktail will enhance the fruitiness of desserts like a fresh fruit tart.
  • Vanilla-flavored desserts: The smoothness of vanilla pairs nicely with the citrus and sweet notes in the drink; think vanilla panna cotta or ice cream.

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What you could change in Van Gogh

  • Blue Curacao: Can be replaced with any other blue liqueur
  • Orange Liqueur: Triple sec or Cointreau can be used
  • Vodka: Gin or white rum can be used for a different flavor profile

Explore all drinks starting with V here

And of course - twists🍹

Starry Night Mimosa

  • Replace vodka with sparkling wine, and omit simple syrup.
  • Continue the recipe as described.
  • This bubbly variation creates an effervescent experience, like sipping the night sky with a frizzante touch.

Impressionist Sour

  • Substitute vodka with bourbon, and replace orange liqueur with apricot brandy.
  • Add an egg white before shaking to give it a silky foam.
  • The twist will produce a deeper, richer flavor profile, with a nod to the classic whiskey sour, but painted with a broader, impressionistic brush.

Dutch Sunset

  • Use Genever (Dutch gin) instead of vodka.
  • Add a splash of soda water on top after pouring the grenadine.
  • The Dutch gin will introduce malty notes, and the soda adds a refreshing sparkle, together simulating a sunset over the canals of Amsterdam.

In case you forgot basics how to make Van Gogh

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Van Gogh

What kind of vodka should I use when preparing the Van Gogh cocktail?

You can use any brand of vodka that you prefer, but a higher-quality vodka can improve the taste of the cocktail.

What other cocktails can I make with the same ingredients used in the Van Gogh cocktail?

There are numerous other cocktails you can create with these ingredients. For example, the Blue Lagoon cocktail also uses vodka and Blue Curacao, while the Sidecar uses lemon juice and orange liqueur.

I can't find any Blue Curacao where I live. How can I create the same effect?

You may substitute other blue liqueurs for Blue Curacao. If you can't find any, you can use clear liqueur and add a few drops of blue food coloring to achieve the same visual effect.

What can I pair with the Van Gogh cocktail?

You can pair the cocktail with light appetizers such as cheese, bruschetta, or seafood, to complement its refreshing, fruity flavors.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail?

Yes. To make a mocktail version, you can substitute the alcoholic ingredients with their non-alcoholic counterparts, for example, substituting vodka with non-alcoholic vodka, and using orange juice instead of the orange liqueur.

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