One of Vincent Van Gogh’s most iconic works is his Starry Night, a masterpiece to which Van Gogh Vodka pays homage on its flagship 80-proof Van Gogh Vodka bottle.
What better way to celebrate the Perseids, than by sipping on one of the Van Gogh sparkling cocktails below. For maximum enjoyment, Astronomer Dr. Aparna Venkatesan’s offers a few tips for enjoying the meteor shower.
A Few Facts
The Perseid is the most popular meteor shower of the year for the Northern Hemisphere and will peak the nights of August 11-12 and 12-13.
During these dates, between 60-70 meteors per hour will be visible under the right conditions; in peak years that number can rocket upwards of 150 meteors per hour.
While difficult to see in locations that have a lot of ambient light, the consensus is, if you can see each star of the Little Dipper, your eyes have “dark adapted,” and you should be able to view the shower.
Meteors, also known as “shooting stars” and “falling stars,” are created when bits of debris from asteroids and comets enter the earth’s atmosphere and begin to glow as they heat up from friction.
Dr. Aparna Venkatesan
Astronomer Dr. Aparna Venkatesan, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of San Francisco has the following tips for enjoying the night sky during meteor showers and while stargazing.
Tips for Watching the Meteor Shower
Stay up past midnight – showers peak between midnight and dawn.
No telescopes or binoculars needed – just a wide, unobstructed field of view of the sky.
As one gazes at the sky for a while, a blanket or chair to relax on are great so as not to strain your neck while craning back and looking up.
After identifying the area of the sky from which the meteors will appear, relax your eyes and look away slightly as your peripheral vision will be great at picking up the streaks.
Overall Stargazing Tips
Try to find a location that is as dark as possible (minimal light pollution) and has a good chance of clear skies/good weather. Added bonuses are high elevation locations and dry (desert or mountain-like) conditions.
Having the moon phase not full helps sky-viewing immensely. The ideal moon phase is between new and first quarter.
Dress appropriately for local nighttime temperatures.
Complement the starry night sky with one of these five sparkling cocktails:
Van Gogh Starry Night Sparkler
1 oz. Van Gogh Vodka, chilled
4 oz. Sparkling Rosé, chilled (if rosé is dry, add 1/4 oz. simple syrup)
Directions: Add chilled Van Gogh Vodka to a flute and top with chilled sparkling rosé. Garnish with a starfruit. For a twist on color, try substituting Van Gogh Pomegranate or Van Gogh Açaí-Blueberry).
Van Gogh Sunflower Spritz
1 oz. Van Gogh Vodka
1 oz. lemon-lime soda
1 oz. club soda
1/2 lemon, squeezed
Directions: Shake first two ingredients well with ice. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and stir in club soda. Top with juice from a squeezed lemon. Garnish with lemon wheel and rosemary sprig.
Cool Peach Bellini
1 oz. Van Gogh Cool Peach
1 oz. white peach purée
3 oz. sparkling wine, chilled
Directions: In a mixing glass, add ingredients with ice and gently fold together without over-stirring. Strain into a chilled flute. Garnish with a floating mint leaf and peach slice.
2 oz. Van Gogh Dutch Caramel
3 oz. ginger ale
Wedge of lime, squeezed
Directions: Pour vodka and ginger ale into a rocks glass filled with ice and stir briefly. Squeeze fresh lime juice on top. Garnish with a cherry.
Tropic of Pineapple
1.5 oz. Van Gogh Pineapple, chilled
3.5 oz. sparkling wine, chilled (if sparkling wine is dry, add 1/4 oz. simple syrup)
Directions: Add chilled pineapple vodka to a flute and top with chilled sparkling wine. Garnish with a. pineapple slice.
Cucumber Mint Fizz
2 oz. Van Gogh Vodka
1.5 oz. sour mix
1 cucumber slice
8-10 mint leaves
Directions: Muddle cucumber and mint in the sour mix. Add Van Gogh Vodka with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass or flute, top with club soda. Garnish with a long thin strip of cucumber.
These recipes are courtesy of Van Gogh Vodka.