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Classic Shrimp Cocktail

This is a nice little appetizer. It's always delicious an always reads "classy". I LOVE a good shrimp cocktail! It's also really easy to make. It's really just a matter of boiling the shrimp, then chilling them and serving with cocktail sauce!

Many people do all sorts of things beyond these. Beds of lettuce, little lemon sculptures, the shrimps folded into one another, small shrimps literally mixed into the sauce, served like a soup, etc.

This approach is ... Classic Cocktail ... done in the manner of most restaurants that serve it.

Note: These shrimp are essentially boiled in something resembling a quickie "court bouillon" which is a flavored liquid used for poaching stuff for a relatively short period of time. A common use of it is fish, like Salmon. I'm a HUGE fan of boiling artichokes in a court bouillon. It just adds a little extra flavor to otherwise fairly light or delicate ingredients.

Second Note: After bringing my liquid to a boil, I strained the liquid through a fine meshed sieve prior to boiling the shrimp. It decreases the "speckles" left behind by the Old Bay, but this step is completely optional.

Third Note: I used the 16-20 sized shrimp, because I like a big meaty shrimp. You can use a 21-25 for a more traditional size. If you do, cook the shrimp for about 4 minutes, instead of 5. You'll get more shrimp per pound!

Fourth Note: Because the boiling liquid is discarded, I'm only leaving the nutritional information for the shrimp.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 191.70875kcal
Author: DJ Foodie


  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup old bay seasonining
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 3 lbs large shrimp (16/20) peeled and deveined (leave the tails on)
  • 1 cup cocktail sauce


  • Mix all of the ingredients, except the shrimp in a medium sized pot over high heat. Bring liquids to a boil.
  • Let boil for about 5 minutes. If you'd like, you can strain out the Old Bay at this point.
  • Add your shrimp to the hot liquid. Stir the shrimp into the liquid, then turn off the pot.
  • Let the shrimp sit for about 5 minutes until pink, but still very slightly transparent. (Do not overcook)
  • Immediately strain out the liquid and plunge the shrimp into cold ice water to chill.
  • When the shrimp are chilled all of the way through, drain them and allow them to dry.
  • Serve with a cocktail sauce and fresh lemons! (this can be a large platter, or multiple martini glasses, or any other creative presentation you can think of)


Serving: 8g | Calories: 191.70875kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.67375g | Protein: 34.14625g | Fat: 3.485g | Fiber: 0.38625g