Cruel Summer Cocktail Recipe

We call this the Cruel Summer Cocktail because Sarah has been a Swifty since Taylor was doing the whole Nashville bit. Once for her birthday, I surprised Sarah with tickets to the 1989 tour, and after getting stampeded by a wild herd of tween and teen girls, I got to witness one of my favorite memories of our entire marriage. It was Sarah’s first and only time seeing Taylor live. After the opener played for what seemed like 5 hours, the lights went out. The spotlight hit center stage, where a hydraulic lift beneath the stage was slowly raising Taylor up into view. I normally would’ve been a jerk and tried to scream at the same pterodactyl pitch as the 20,000 wildlings losing their collective mind, but I looked over at Sarah and she was sobbing, overwhelmed at finally getting to see her favorite performer of all time. So that choked me up, too. Oh yeah, the cocktail. Fix yourself a triple batch of it, pour it into an insulated cup, then sit outside and listen to “Cruel Summer” and let the bright season mix with your memories as it all slips away.


5 mins






  • 2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz Italicus
  • 1/2 oz damiana liqueur
  • 1/4 oz orange liqueur
  • 1/4 oz amaretto
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Lime peel, for garnish


  1. In shaker, combine all ingredients with ice. Shake until well-chilled. Pour into a coupe glass and garnish with lime peel. Enjoy!

A Cruel Summer Cocktail in a coupe glass surrounded by fresh limes

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