Shrimp Cocktail is an elegant hors d’oeuvre you can serve at any type of gathering large or small. This classic appetizer only requires a few ingredients is easy to make and is always a crowd pleaser.
When ever we have people over I like to serve Shrimp Cocktail. I feel like nothing says we’re excited you are here like a big, heaping pile of shrimp! This is always my most popular appetizer at any party.
How to make Shrimp Cocktail Sauce: (scroll down for full recipe)
- Prepared Horseradish
- Lemon Juice
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Tabasco or hot sauce of choice (optional)
- Spoon or whisk
- Combine horseradish into ketchup mixing until well combined.
- Next, add finely mined or grated garlic to ketchup mixture and stir.
- Finally, add remaining liquids into bowl and stir until sauce has an even consistency.
Variations and Substitutions:
- You can exchange the ketchup for chili sauce. This will make the cocktail sauce extra spicy. which will give your shrimp cocktail a real kick.
- I do not recommend swapping the prepared horseradish for horseradish sauce as they are not the same thing. Prepared horseradish is simply grated horseradish root, vinegar and salt. While horseradish sauce is made with mayo, sour cream and other seasonings.
Store shrimp and cocktail sauce separately in air tight containers for up to three days before discarding.
Four ways to serve shrimp cocktail:
There are two very important things to remember when serving shrimp cocktail.
The first is to serve it with an amazing homemade cocktail sauce, like the recipe I’ve shared with you.
The second is that you will need ice to keep the shrimp cold. Below are some suggestions about how to serve shrimp cocktail for a party.
Martini or Cocktail Glass:
This is the traditional method for serving shrimp cocktail. It’s elegant and recognizable. The second most people see the shrimp tails hooked over the rim of the glass they know exactly what to expect.
The biggest negative to serving shrimp cocktail at a party using this method is that unless you will need at least one glass per guest. If, like me, you don’t have that many extra glasses on hand but you want to serve shrimp cocktail in this way plastic disposal Martini or Champagne glasses are a good option.
I like this method because it is eye catching and colorful. Also stacking the bowls so that the shrimp is not on top of or in the ice is a nice way to serve cold shrimp. I also like that it is easy to add more ice if you need to during the party.
To create an ice bowl you will need two bowls. One that is larger than the other. Fill the larger bowl with ice. Then set the smaller bowl on top and add the shrimp into the empty bowl. Add ice to the bottom bowl through the party as needed.
If you want to add lemon slices for decoration like I have here simply slice two lemons into rounds. Then fill the larger bowl with ice about halfway, arrange slices around the bowl, Finish, by topping the bowl with ice then stack the second bowl on top.
Vegetable Steamer Basket:
This method is very similar to the ice bowl method. The difference is it requires only one bowl and a basket made for steaming vegetables. To do this fill the bowl with ice leaving a little room at the top for the basket to sit into the bowl. Then add just a little ice to the basket.
Arrange the shrimp over the ice. I added some lemon wedges for color but some guests might choose to add lemon juice to the shrimp. As the ice in the basket melts the water will filter through the holes. This will prevent the shrimp from becoming too wet or falling into the ice. No one wants to dig through cold ice water for shrimp.
To add more ice if needed just move the basket to the side add ice to the bowl. Then replace the basket.
In a tray or with a raised rim or a large casserole dish add a layer of ice.
Small individual sized containers pour in a small amount of cocktail sauce. In a tray or with a raised rim or a casserole dish add a layer of ice. Arrange the on top of the ice.Then add two or three shrimp to each cup. Add more ice to the tray as needed throughout the party.
I hope you and your family and guests will love this recipe as much as we do! If you do try this recipe please come back and leave a comment letting me know how much you liked it!
Happy Cooking Y’all!
Still hungry? Follow New South Charm on Pinterest for more recipe ideas!
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons horseradish
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Worchestershire
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice
Combine horseradish into ketchup mixing until well combined.
Next, add finely mined or grated garlic to ketchup mixture and stir.
Finally, add remaining liquids into bowl and stir until sauce has an even consistency.