Shrimp Cocktail with Vodka Sauce

Shrimp Cocktail with Vodka Sauce by 2sistersrecipes.com

Shrimp Cocktail with Vodka Sauce is made with poached shrimp, served chilled in individual glasses with a spicy vodka cocktail sauce.  A great appetizer, this shrimp cocktail is quick and easy to make and will impress your guests!

My husband’s favorite thing about going to cocktail parties is that they almost always include a shrimp cocktail appetizer.  A platter of giant, plump shrimp just waiting to be dunked into a powerful cocktail sauce.

But why do we have to wait for an invite to a party to enjoy this fancy appetizer?  You can make this simple and easy shrimp cocktail with vodka sauce at home at any time.

Or if you plan an intimate soiree dinner party, this makes the perfect little appetizer to serve!

What is a Shrimp Cocktail? 

Shrimp Cocktail is a simple appetizer for shrimp which are poached in boiling water for a few minutes, then drained and chilled before serving.  They are best served with a mild or spicy cocktail sauce or with a sprinkle of lemon juice over them.

What is Vodka Cocktail Sauce?

Vodka cocktail sauce is a tomato-based sauce for dipping. This vodka cocktail sauce is made with only 5 ingredients: ketchup, horseradish, vodka, salt and pepper, and lemon juice.  It’s simple and super easy!

Shrimp Cocktail with Vodka Sauce by 2sistersrecipes.com

Cook’s Notes and Tips for Shrimp:

  • Keep in mind, you don’t even have to cook the shrimp yourself if you don’t want to.

  • You can buy precooked shrimp at your local fish market or at Whole Foods.  But most likely, you are buying frozen shrimp.

  • When you boil the shrimp yourself,  it will taste and smell much better than frozen shrimp.  Also,  it will not be soggy.

  • We prefer large size shrimps. and I prefer the ones that are already cleaned and ready to go.  They cost a little more but are well worth in order to save some time by not having to clean and devein them.

  • When you buy shrimps already peeled and cleaned,  they only need a good rinse in cold water for a few minutes before you poach them.

Here, I purchased the larger ones to please my husband.  I didn’t mind since he offered to clean them for me.  🙂  ( gotta love’m)

raw shrimps on brown paper by 2sistersrecipes.com

This vodka cocktail sauce is spicy, fresh-tasting, and delicious.

This is an easy vodka sauce for any shrimp cocktail.  A quick stir to blend ketchup, vodka, horseradish, and seasonings, and a touch of lemon juice.

The amount of horseradish to use depends on your taste, and how hot and spicy you like your cocktail sauce to turn out.   You can play with the ingredients and make adjustments to the number of spices as your taste prefers.

How to Serve Shrimp Cocktail?

There are a few ways to serve shrimp cocktail:

1.  For Large Crowd: If you are planning to serve shrimp cocktail for a large group, then it’s best to serve the shrimp in a large platter.  Spoon the vodka sauce into a small glass and place it in the center of the platter, or nearby.

2.  For a Small Soiree:  Serve the shrimps in individual glasses or cocktail glasses, add a dollop of vodka sauce in each glass and jazz up each glass with slices of lemon or lime, and garnish with some fresh chives.  It makes a lovely presentation.

3.  Additional Options: You can serve it with a few wedges of lemon next to the shrimp for those who do not care for the cocktail sauce.

Shrimp Cocktail with Vodka Sauce by 2sistersrecipes.com

Shrimp Cocktail with Vodka Sauce served in individual glasses will always make a beautiful presentation for a dinner party.

You may even enjoy our Shrimp Cocktail with Jalapeno Peppers.  It’s a favorite at gatherings too!

Enjoy!!

*Follow along, or jump down to the bottom of this post for our full recipe card.

Ingredients for Shrimp Cocktail with Vodka Sauce:

  • 24 jumbo shrimp (about 2 pounds)

  • 5 cups boiling water

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 lemon- juiced

  • 3 limes – thinly sliced for garnish

  • fresh chive sprigs, for garnish

  • lemon wedges, for serving

Directions To Make the Shrimp Cocktail:

1.  Peel and devein the shrimp.  Leave the tails on, but discard the shells.
In a medium-size pot filled with water, bring to a boil, and add the lemon juice and salt.

2.  Slowly transfer the shrimp into the boiling water.  Turn off heat, cover and let stand for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the shrimp are firm and pink.  Drain the shrimp.

3.  Add shrimp into a bowl of ice water filled with ice cubes to cool the shrimp for about 2 minutes.

4.  Then drain the shrimp again, this time allowing to drain well.

5.  Use 4-ounce serving glasses or small martini glasses.  Fill each glass with 2 tablespoons or more with vodka-cocktail sauce (see below for recipe).

6.  Arrange shrimp around the rim of each glass, alternating with lime slices and shrimp.

7.  Garnish with 2 sprigs of chives in the center.  Transfer to a serving tray.
Refrigerate, and serve shrimp cocktail chilled on individual plates with a lemon wedge on the side.

Shrimp Cocktail with Vodka Sauce by 2sistersrecipes.com

                                                  Serves 6 – with 4 shrimps per glass

Ingredients for Vodka Cocktail Sauce:

  • 2 cups of ketchup

  • 2  to 3 Tbsp. Vodka, or more

  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. horseradish

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1.  Mix all the ingredients together.  Taste and adjust the heat by adding more horseradish to your liking.
2.  Refrigerate the sauce until ready to serve.

Here’s a Kitchen Tip:
If you are short for time and cannot make the Vodka Cocktail Sauce, buy a jar of extra-hot cocktail sauce and mix equal parts with ketchup and blend some Vodka and lemon juice.  Taste the sauce for its pungent, and add more or less to your preference.

Can Shrimp Cocktail with Vodka Sauce Be Made Ahead?

Yes, you can make this shrimp cocktail with vodka sauce one day ahead and chilled it in your refrigerator in a sealed container.


 Thanks for Pinning!

Shrimp Cocktail with Vodka Sauce by 2sistersrecipes.com

More Delicious Recipes for Shrimp!

Yield: 6

Shrimp Cocktail with Vodka Sauce

Shrimp Cocktail with Vodka Sauce by 2sistersrecipes.com

Shrimp Cocktail with Vodka Sauce ~ are poached shrimp, served chilled with a spicy vodka cocktail sauce. Easy, delicious, and makes an elegant presentation!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes

Ingredients

  • 24 jumbo shrimp (about 2 pounds)
  • 5 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 lemon- juiced
  • 3 limes - thinly sliced for garnish
  • fresh chive sprigs, for garnish
  • lemon wedges, for serving

For the Vodka Cocktail Sauce:

  • 2 cups of ketchup
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. Vodka, or more
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. horseradish
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice!

Instructions

  1. Peel and devein the shrimp. Leave the tails on, but discard the shells. Rinse shrimp under cold water in a colander for a few minutes until the shrimp is completely cleaned.
  2. Fill a medium-size pot with water, bring to a boil, and add the lemon juice and salt.
  3. Slowly transfer the shrimp into the boiling water. Turn off heat, cover and let stand for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the shrimp are firm and pink. Drain the shrimp.
  4. Add shrimp into a bowl of ice water filled with ice cubes to cool the shrimp for about 2 minutes.
  5. Then drain the shrimp again, this time allowing to drain well.

Make the Vodka Cocktail Sauce:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together. Taste and adjust the heat by adding more horseradish to your liking.
  2. Refrigerate the sauce until ready to serve.

Prepare Individual Glasses:

  1. Use 4-ounce serving glasses or small martini glasses. Fill each glass with 2 tablespoons or more with vodka-cocktail sauce.
  2. Arrange shrimp around the rim of each glass, alternating with lime slices and shrimp.
  3. Garnish with 2 sprigs of chives in the center. Transfer to a serving tray.
  4. Refrigerate, and serve shrimp cocktail chilled on individual plates with a lemon wedge on the side.
  5. Serves 6 - (with 4 shrimps per glass)

Notes

If you are short for time and cannot make the Vodka Cocktail Sauce, buy a jar of extra-hot cocktail sauce and mix equal parts with ketchup and blend some Vodka and lemon juice. Taste the sauce for its pungent, and add more or less to your preference.

shrimp Cocktail with Vodka Sauce by 2sistersrecipes.com

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Thanks for stopping by!

xo Anna and Liz

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18 Comments

  1. I’ve never tried cooking shrimp this way, but it sounds delicious infused with all those flavors! And of course the homemade cocktail sauce would make them even more tasty. Looks like a perfect holiday appetizer!

  2. I would probably enjoy the same parties that your husband does, and for the same reason: I love shrimp cocktail. I had no idea you could make it with vodka! I’ll bet it’s fantastic.

  3. I align with your husband's preference for the extra-large shrimp. But what intrigues me beyond the gorgeous presentation, is the measure of vodka in the cocktail sauce—it makes perfect sense! Pinning this for sure, and I thank you for the introduction and the lovely comment over at my place.

  4. My son used to work in a seafood restaurant and we loved to go visit (bother) him and eat our weight in shrimp. These are absolutely beautiful! Love cocktail sauce too – this will be a perfect snack while watching the Oscars 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!