An Anniversary Celebration and A Caramel Apple Martini Recipe

An Anniversary Celebration and A Caramel Apple Martini Recipe

Caramel Apple Martini Recipe courtesy of

The weekend of October 4, 2014, was an exceptionally beautiful one for many reasons. The rain cleared on Saturday afternoon, making way for a crisp, classic autumn weekend in New Jersey. The sun poked its face out of the clouds much of the weekend, and the cold air held off just long enough to make a beautiful October weekend outdoors possible.

Caramel Apple Martini, the official drink of a beautiful October wedding.
Caramel Apple Martini, the official drink of a beautiful October wedding.

For Peter Salerno, his family, friends, and the Peter Salerno Inc. team, it was especially beautiful. Gabrielle Salerno, the head of Customer Relations and Social Media Outreach for Peter Salerno Inc., married the love of her life (the wonderful Brian Mayer), and Mr. and Mrs. Mayer were the focal point of an intimate and stunning wedding and beautiful reception.

It’s been three years since Gabrielle and Brian’s wedding day, and the couple has since welcomed beautiful baby Brielle into their lives (as well as their puppy Harper). But there’s a delicious way we can all celebrate such a special occasion.

In honor of their 3rd anniversary, we’re sharing Gabrielle & Brian’s “special” reception cocktail with you all – a sweet Caramel Apple Martini that will perk you up on a cool fall day. While the reception venue (the Estate at Florentine Gardens) has its own proprietary recipe for a Caramel Apple Martini, Peter Salerno Inc. has found its own favorite recipe for the drink online.

The lovely Caramel Apple Martini cocktail recipe in question is courtesy of FoodViva, and it’s a perfect marriage (much like Gabrielle and Brian!) of laid-back and appealing.

So if you’re 21 and over, and you love the idea of a smooth cocktail on a fall day, then make yourself a Caramel Apple Martini, raise a glass to the happy couple, and enjoy!

Caramel Apple Martini recipe (courtesy FoodViva):


  • 30 ml (1 oz) Vodka
  • 60 ml (2 oz) Sour Apple Pucker
  • 60 ml (2 oz) Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 1 Maraschino Cherry
  • 1 cup Crushed Ice


  1. Fill up cocktail shaker half way through with crushed ice.
  2. Add all martini ingredients in cocktail shaker and shake for 30-35 seconds.
  3. Pour mixed drink through strainer into serving glass, drop cherry in it and serve.

As an added treat (as pictured courtesy of SocialifeNJ), try garnishing the rim of your glass with caramel and crushed almonds!

Peter Salerno’s Family Recipe for Homemade Sangria

The Perfect Homemade Family Summer Sangria Recipe

Peter Salerno isn’t just a master kitchen designer, he loves spending time in his own kitchen entertaining family, friends and guests. This love of cooking and creating recipes filters up and down the Salerno family for generations, and has produced some time-tested, delicious recipes.

July 4th Red, White and Blue Sangria recipes (recipes & photo courtesy Epicurious)
Our family Sangria recipe) photo courtesy Epicurious)

When Peter Salerno married his wife Tracy, she brought with her a wealth of delicious recipes, cocktails and other “secret family recipes”. Tracy’s father, Mike Cavallo, was a master of many of these – but one of the family’s favorite creations from Mr. Cavallo was his famous sangria.

What makes the “Cavallo family sangria” recipe so delicious? It might be the perfect mix of ingredients, or the use of brandy and triple sec at the base. Or it may just be the special amount of love with which Mike made it.

In any event, it’s a sangria recipe that’s sure to please, and we’re sharing it with you. It’s the perfect summer sangria recipe for entertaining guests!

Mike Cavallo’s Perfect Summer Sangria Recipe


  • 7 Up/Sprite
  • Triple Sec
  • inexpensive brandy (something like Christian Bros., no need to go over the top!)
  • a bottle of red wine, preferably Merlot or Shiraz
  • ice
  • oranges (you can add apples and pears as well)


  • Fill a *large* pitcher with whole slices of orange (leave the peels on), use a wooden spoon to press on the oranges to get a little bit of juice at the bottom.
  • Fill a 1/3 of the pitcher with ice
  • Pour even parts 7 Up/Sprite and wine (pouring both at the same time is the easiest way) until 2/3 of the way filled
  • Pour equal parts brandy and triple sec to taste (usually about 1/2 -2/3 a cup)
  • Fill remaining with the rest of the wine
  • Stir and let sit for 10 minutes in the refrigerator
  • Enjoy!
If it comes out too strong for you, it can be diluted by adding more soda.
DON’T add sugar, citrus fruits (lime, lemon, pineapple), or bitters!

Our Favorite Cinco De Mayo Drink Recipes

Design Your Cinco De Mayo Cocktail Recipes

Cinco De Mayo is right around the corner! This May 5th, Cinco De Mayo will once again be observed as a celebration of freedom, democracy, and Mexican heritage and pride.

No matter what your home bar looks like, we’re here to help you get your Cinco de Mayo cocktail recipe list in order! Whether your home bar is a world-class stunner (like when Peter Salerno Inc. turned a ’59 Corvette into the most amazing bar in the world), or a more humble affair, Cinco De Mayo is the perfect time get behind your custom bar (built by Peter Salerno, of course!) and wow your guests with an assortment of amazing Cinco De Mayo drink recipes.

Here are Peter Salerno's favorite Cinco De Mayo drink recipes. (Credit Wiki)
Here are our favorite Cinco De Mayo drink recipes. (Credit Wiki)

Every year, we check out Delish for their updated list of Cinco de Mayo drink recipes – specifically their outstanding collection of updated margarita recipes. From the Bulldog Margarita (you MUST try this if you’re a fan of citrus) to their Perfect Cuervo Margarita, consider this your go-to margarita recipe source for this year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration!

So let’s check out some of our favorite Cinco De Mayo drink recipes, courtesy of our friends at Delish.

Design Your Lifestyle’s Favorite Cinco De Mayo Drink Recipes

All drink recipes courtesy of Delish.

Bulldog Margarita (our latest favorite!)


  • 4 c. ice
  • 2/3 c. lime juice
  • 1 c. tequila
  • 1/4 c. Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • Coarse salt, for rim
  • 4 Coronitas (7 oz. each)
  • Skewers topped with sliced citrus, for garnish


  1. Combine ice, lime juice, tequila, Cointreau and sugar in a blender, pulsing to combine.
  2. Place salt on a shallow plate. Dip the rim of each glass in lime juice or water, then in the salt.
  3. Fill each glass with margarita mixture. Pop the caps off of the Coronita bottles, then flip each one upside-down into the margarita glass. (A little beer will empty into the cup, but once the neck of the bottle has sunk into the frozen margarita, it will stop pouring out.)
  4. Garnish each with a fruit skewer and serve.

La Paloma Margarita


  • 1½ oz. Don Julio Reposado Tequila
  • 4 oz. grapefruit soda
  • 1 wedge lime


  1. Add Don Julio Reposado Tequila and grapefruit soda in salt-rimmed, ice-filled highball glass.
  2. Garnish with lime wedge.

Perfect Cuervo Margarita


  • 1 ounce(s) Jose Cuervo Especial
  • 3 ounce(s) Jose Cuervo Lime Margarita Mix
  • 1 wedge(s) lime
  • 1 teaspoon(s) salt


  1. Rub rim of a chilled margarita glass with half a lime.
  2. Dip into salt to coat.
  3. In a shaker with ice, add José Cuervo Especial and José Cuervo Lime Margarita Mix.
  4. Shake vigorously.
  5. Strain into the margarita glass.
  6. Garnish with lime wedge.

Cucumber-Jalapeno Margarita


  • Coarse sea or kosher salt
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1/2 cup(s) peeled, finely diced cucumber, plus a cucumber slice for garnish
  • 4 slice(s) (or up to 6 slices; thin) jalapeño, with seeds
  • 1/4 cup(s) cilantro sprigs
  • 3/4 ounce(s) (1 1/2 tablespoons) fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce(s) (1 1/2 teaspoons) light agave nectar
  • 2 ounce(s) (1/4 cup) 100-percent blue agave silver tequila
  • 1/2 ounce(s) (1 tablespoon) Cointreau or triple sec


  1. Pour an even layer of salt on a plate. Rub the rim of an 8-ounce rocks glass or tumbler with lime wedge and invert glass into salt to coat rim.
  2. Combine cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and agave nectar in a 2-cup cocktail shaker. Using a muddler or pestle, gently muddle mixture.
  3. Fill the shaker halfway with ice, then add tequila and Cointreau. Cover and shake well until shaker is frosty and cold.
  4. Fill prepared glass with ice. Strain margarita into it and garnish with the cucumber slice.

For more information about custom home bar design, fill out the form below.

Peter Salerno’s Favorite Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipe: “The Lover” From HGTV

Peter Salerno’s Favorite Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipe: “The Lover” From HGTV

Try Our Favorite Valentine’s Day Cocktail, Courtesy of HGTV

It’s an all-year love affair between Peter Salerno Inc. and HGTV! Peter and his team are blessed to be featured designers on HGTV’s official website, and were honored with a prestigious 2016 HGTV People’s Choice Award at this year’s KBIS convention.

So when it comes to finding the perfect Valentine’s Day cocktail recipe for 2016, it makes complete sense that Peter Salerno’s favorite comes directly from HGTV!

Enjoy this Valentine's Day 2016 cocktail recipe from HGTV!
Enjoy this Valentine’s Day 2016 cocktail recipe from HGTV!

“The Lover” is a Mediterranean-inspired aperitif featuring a blend of fresh Italian tastes – including Prosecco and Limoncello. Add in Cointreau, vodka and a splash of grenadine, and this fiery red cocktail will certainly spark the inspiration of love inside of you this Valentine’s Day!

On its official website, HGTV’s Stephen Phillips says the following about “The Lover” cocktail: “Channel the erotic spirit, passion and lust of Casanova with an amorous aperitif from the coast of Amalfi.”

Consider us sold!

Thank you to Stephen Phillips and the wonderful people at HGTV for this Valentine’s Day cocktail recipe. For all things Valentine’s Day 2016, be sure to check out!

Peter Salerno’s Favorite Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipe

“The Lover” (Courtesy of HGTV)


1 bottle chilled Prosecco
1/2 oz. Limoncello
1/2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. Cointreau
Dash of grenadine, for color
Maraschino cherry


In a shaker of ice, pour Limoncello, vodka and Cointreau and shake for 20 seconds. Pour this medley into a tall fluted glass. Fill the rest of the glass with Prosecco. Add a touch of grenadine and stir gently, and drop a maraschino cherry into the glass.

Peter Salerno’s Favorite Cinco De Mayo Drink Recipe: Tres Agaves Margarita

Peter Salerno’s Favorite Cinco De Mayo Drink Recipe: Tres Agaves Margarita

Learn How to Make 2015’s Best Cinco De Mayo Margarita Recipe

It’s no secret that Peter Salerno’s favorite online recipe source is Epicurious (it’s been featured so many times on our blog, we’ve lost count!). So when it came time to find the very best 2015 Cinco De Mayo margarita recipe, Epicurious had the answer – of course!

Tres Agaves Margarita recipe, courtesy Epicurious and Tres. (photo: Rachel Sale)
Tres Agaves Margarita recipe, courtesy Epicurious and Tres. (photo: Rachel Sale)

The Tres Agaves Margarita blends the classic tequila taste of a margarita with the sweet-and-sour blend of fresh lime and agave nectar. (Agave nectar, also called agave syrup, is produced from several types of agave plants, including the blue agave. Don’t be fooled, though – agave nectar is actually sweeter than honey!)

The recipe comes to us through Epicurious from Tres, an outstanding restaurant in San Francisco, and this is their house specialty blend of margarita. Served in an old-fashioned or rocks glass as opposed to a margarita or martini glass, this margarita is shorter in size but much, much longer in memorable flavor. And don’t worry – it packs all the punch you want! (It’s no wonder it currently has a perfect 4 fork rating on Epicurious!)

It is hotly debated when the margarita originated, but no one questions where the margarita is from – it’s as authentically Mexican as Cinco de Mayo itself.

Did you know? Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexico’s Independence Day (Sept. 16th), but rather a celebration of the day the Mexican Army defeated the heavily-favored French in the Battle of Puebla.

Enjoy this outstanding Cinco de Mayo drink recipe for the Tres Agaves Margarita. Thanks to Epicurious and Tres, Peter Salerno’s 2015 Cinco de Mayo just got much more delicious!

Cinco De Mayo Margarita Recipe: Tres Agaves Margarita (courtesy Epicurious):


  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar
  • 1/2 water
  • 2 ounces tequila made from 100 percent agave, such as Patron, Don Julio, and Corazón
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice


In glass or small bowl, combine agave nectar and water, and stir until combined. In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine tequila, agave nectar mixture, and lime juice. Shake vigorously, then strain into old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice.

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Guinness Affogato [St. Patrick’s Day Dessert Drink]

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Guinness Affogato [St. Patrick’s Day Dessert Drink]

Courtesy of Bon Appetit, The Best 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Guinness Recipe!

Thanks to Bon Appetit and Dawn Perry for this Guinness Affogato St. Patrick's Day recipe! [Photo credit: Alex Lau]
Thanks to Bon Appetit and Dawn Perry for this Guinness Affogato St. Patrick’s Day recipe! [Photo credit: Alex Lau]
We here at Peter Salerno Inc.’s official blog look to Bon Appetit for the very best seasonal recipes. When you think of St. Patrick’s Day drink recipes, one name always comes to mind first – Guinness.

The usual Guinness recipes abound – Irish car bombs, Guinness stew, even Guinness pudding – and they’ve all been done a million times. But leave it to Bon Appetit to come up with an unbelievably delicious new way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a brand new Guinness recipe.

Not only is this Guinness recipe a drink, it’s also a dessert!

The Bon Appetit recipe for Guinness Affogato combines Guinness, espresso and vanilla ice cream into an incredible, delectable glassful of Irish delight. It’s the most refreshing way to cap off your St. Patrick’s Day meal. The recipe is as delicious as it is simple. Vanilla ice cream and espresso pair beautifully together, as do Guinness and vanilla ice cream. So why not combine the three into a traditional affogato and add some sweetness to your St. Patrick’s Day?

We hope you love this Bon Appetit recipe as much as we do!

St. Patrick’s Day Recipe: Guinness Affogato [Courtesy of Bon Appetit]


  • 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 1 ounce hot espresso
  • 4 ounces Guinness stout


  • Place ice cream in a tall glass. Pour espresso over and top off with Guinness. Serve with a straw and a long spoon.

Recipe by Dawn Perry, Photograph by Alex Lau

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Earl Grey Hot Toddy

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Earl Grey Hot Toddy

Earl Grey Hot Toddy Recipe (courtesy of Carolina Girl Cooks)

A delicious recipe for Earl Grey Hot Toddy! (Recipe & photo courtesy:
A delicious recipe for Earl Grey Hot Toddy! (Recipe & photo courtesy:

The only thing better than a hot, steaming cup of Earl Grey tea on a cold winter day is a Hot Toddy (for all you adults out there…). So, what’s better than a Hot Toddy to warm you up?

An Earl Grey Hot Toddy! We discovered this outstanding winter drink recipe from the blog Carolina Girl Cooks (and its fantastic owner, Jennifer!). Creating an Earl Grey Hot Toddy is such a great idea, we were honestly a bit jealous we didn’t come up with it ourselves.

But then we got down to enjoying the drink itself, and everything seemed just perfect.

We loved this recipe so much we had to share it with you – don’t take our word for it, try it out yourself! If you love it, make sure you check it at Carolina Girl Cooks for more Southern goodness.

Earl Grey Hot Toddy Recipe (courtesy of Carolina Girl Cooks)

Serves 2

  • 2 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1-2 oz of your favorite bourbon
  • 4 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp of honey (more if you want it a little sweeter)

Put the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove the water from the heat, add in the tea bags and cover.  Allow the tea to steep for about 3-5 minutes.

After a few minutes, pour in the lemon juice and mix in the honey.

Add 1/2-1 oz of the bourbon to two coffee mugs, pour the tea mixture over each.  Garnish with a slice of lemon.