Shrimp Cocktail


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Embark on a culinary journey that dives deep into the realm of exquisite seafood flavors with our timeless shrimp cocktail recipe. This appetizer is the epitome of elegance and simplicity, gracing the tables of upscale restaurants and casual gatherings alike. In this blog post, we’ll unveil the secrets behind creating a shrimp cocktail that wows both your taste buds and your guests, elevating any occasion to one of indulgent refinement.

Shrimp cocktail is a classic and elegant appetizer that has been enjoyed for generations. It’s known for its simplicity and the freshness of its ingredients. While its origins are not entirely clear, this dish has a rich history:

  • Early Beginnings: Shrimp cocktails, or variations of them, have been around for centuries. Early recipes for similar dishes can be found in 19th-century cookbooks.
  • Popularity in America: Shrimp cocktail gained popularity in the United States during the mid-20th century. It became a staple at upscale restaurants and cocktail parties, often served with a tangy cocktail sauce.
  • Versatile Appetizer: Today, shrimp cocktail is a versatile appetizer enjoyed at various events, from formal dinners to casual gatherings. Its enduring appeal lies in its combination of tender, succulent shrimp and zesty sauce.

Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp cocktail is more than just an appetizer—it's an experience. Delicate, succulent shrimp are nestled in a pool of tangy cocktail sauce, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. This dish has long been a staple on menus, capturing hearts with its alluring presentation and irresistible taste. Whether served as an elegant hors d'oeuvre or a refreshing summer starter, shrimp cocktail is a versatile classic that never goes out of style.

Our recipe embodies the essence of a perfect shrimp cocktail, showcasing plump and juicy shrimp paired with a zesty cocktail sauce that awakens the senses. Join us as we guide you through the art of creating this iconic dish, ensuring your shrimp cocktail is not only a feast for the palate but also a feast for the eyes.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 5 mins Rest Time 1 hr Total Time 1 hr 20 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 4 Calories: 156.43 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


For the Shrimp:

For the Cocktail Sauce:

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Fill a large pot with water and add lemon halves, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.

  2. Add shrimp to the boiling water and cook until they turn pink and opaque, about 2-3 minutes.

  3. Immediately transfer the cooked shrimp to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.

  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together ketchup, horseradish sauce, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce (if using).

  5. Season the cocktail sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to meld.

  6. To serve, arrange the chilled shrimp on serving glasses or dishes.

  7. Place a dollop of cocktail sauce on the side or over the shrimp.

  8. Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh parsley.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 156.43kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2.09g4%
Saturated Fat 0.23g2%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Cholesterol 186.77mg63%
Sodium 726.11mg31%
Potassium 431.28mg13%
Total Carbohydrate 12.52g5%
Dietary Fiber 0.64g3%
Sugars 9.06g
Protein 23.45g47%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.


Tips and Variations:
  • Adjust the level of horseradish and hot sauce in the cocktail sauce to suit your taste preferences.
  • For a twist, try adding diced avocado, mango, or cucumber to the cocktail sauce.
  • Serve with a side of oyster crackers or crusty bread for a complete appetizer experience.
  • Customize the presentation by using martini glasses or small bowls for an elegant touch.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Serve as an elegant appetizer at dinner parties or special occasions.
  • Pair with a crisp white wine or a refreshing cocktail for a well-rounded culinary experience.
  • Set up a shrimp cocktail bar with various sauces and garnishes for a fun and interactive appetizer station.
Allergen Information:
  • Shellfish: Shrimp cocktail contains shellfish, specifically shrimp, which is a common allergen. It's important to be aware of any shellfish allergies among your guests and provide alternative appetizers if needed.

  • Cocktail Sauce: The sauce typically includes ingredients like ketchup and horseradish. Check for any allergies to these ingredients among your guests.

Wine or Drink Pairing: 
  • Champagne or Sparkling Wine: The effervescence and crisp acidity of champagne or sparkling wine make it an excellent choice to complement the sweetness of the shrimp and the tanginess of the cocktail sauce.

  • White Wine: A crisp, unoaked white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, can also be a good pairing, providing a refreshing contrast to the shrimp and sauce.

  • Iced Tea: For a non-alcoholic option, iced tea, particularly green or black tea with a squeeze of lemon, pairs well with shrimp cocktail and provides a refreshing balance.

Storage and Leftovers:
  • Immediate Consumption: Shrimp cocktail is best enjoyed immediately after preparation to maintain the freshness and texture of the shrimp.

  • Refrigeration: If you have leftover shrimp cocktail, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume it within 1-2 days to ensure the shrimp remain safe to eat.

  • Cocktail Sauce: If separated, stir the cocktail sauce before using it with leftovers. It can also be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and used within a few days.

Keywords: Shrimp Cocktail, Seafood Appetizer, Classic Recipe, Tangy Sauce, Elegant Dish

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