The Perfect Shrimp Cocktail Recipe (Quick And Easy!)

Spread the love

The Perfect Shrimp Cocktail Recipe (Quick And Easy!)

Simplicity and sophistication are an uncommon pairing in life – but especially in the kitchen. 

For many, cooking is a constant balancing act between wanting to cook incredible food and wanting to enjoy your evening outside of the kitchen! 

While planning a casino party for my friends and family, I realised I didn’t have a clue what to feed people! Between: 1920s dresses, fake cigars and learning how to play Baccarat – a casino night staple that leads to endless fun.

With all this going on, I certainly didn’t have time to prepare a three-course meal; I was too busy focusing on the third card rule!

I desperately needed something quick and easy that would be equally delicious for my dinner guests. 

The casino night was fast approaching, and I was completely stumped for a choice of appetiser. The whole point of a party is to hang out and have fun with my loved ones, which I couldn’t do while wearing an apron – that’s hardly the gangster-casino dress code! 

Luckily, the day before the party I stumbled onto this incredible Shrimp Cocktail recipe, and I knew it would be the perfect fit!


The Shrimp Cocktail’s origins are baked deep into the history of Las Vegas! Though it had been done before, it was the Vegas casino, The Golden Gate Hotel, that popularised the meal. Offering its customers, a 50-cent Shrimp Cocktail (that would be just $5 today!). 

I think I’ll stick to Baccarat and Cocktails from home these days. 

Though, Undoubtedly a potentially messy gambling companion, the Shrimp Cocktail was washed down easily with the endless free drinks offered at the Casino. 

The ‘Golden Gate cocktail’ quickly became a widely enjoyed casino aperitif. Becoming a true piece of iconography in the dusty desert that changed the poker world forever.

Back then, it was traditionally placed in a tulip sundae glass, garnished with a simple tomato cocktail and containing no salad – when in Vegas! 

My method is a little more modern with all the same charm and taste as the original!

Mastering the basics 

You’d never guess but there are two key ingredients to the Shrimp Cocktail – the shrimp and the cocktail. Though it seems obvious, it is important we master the basics. 

Make sure your shrimp is boiled until it is a dark pinkish colour and thoroughly cooked through. 

Raw shrimp can contain harmful bacteria and viruses that can potentially cause food poisoning, so it is best practice to make sure your shrimp has an internal temperature of 63°C or 145°F.

You will also need to peel and devein your shrimps before you begin, a tutorial for that can be found here.

Now that I’ve ensured you won’t poison anyone – we can move on to the ingredients!


The ingredients list can be divided into two parts for an easier time understanding what you will need.

This recipe should only take 45 minutes in total to create and typically serves around 8 people. 

For preparing the Shrimp: 

  • 1.4L of Water
  • 2 TBSP kosher salt
  • 1kg of ice
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar 
  • ½ a medium onion (peeled and halved)
  • 1 tbsp of parsley (chopped)
  • 900g of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 lemons (halved)

For the Cocktail Sauce:

  • 120ml of a mild chili sauce
  • 120ml of ketchup
  • 1tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1tsp. lemon zest
  • 1tbsp. horseradish
  • 1.2g of onion salt
  • A drop of Tabasco or alternate hot sauce (at discretion)


  1. Take your kilo of ice and fill a large bowl halfway, add water and set aside. Cut one of your lemons into wedges and add to bowl.
  2. For your shrimp, take a medium to large pot and add your 1.4L of water, salt, onion, sugar and a little bit of parsley. Using your second lemon, juice it and add to the pot.
  3. Bring the pot to a boil, then turn off the heat and add your shrimp.
  4. Let the shrimp sit for around 3.5 minutes, or until it is pink and cooked through. Then remove the shrimp from the pot and quickly place it into the bowl of ice.
  5. Mix all the ingredients for the cocktail sauce into a small bowl and mix until fully combined. 
  6. Find your classiest Cocktail glass, garnish with your parsley and serve your guests! 


Try not to spill any of this down your Al Capone suit or on the roulette table, thankfully the mafia won’t get involved!

You can find a smorgasbord of other casino-night meals here, and if you are looking to get into gaming, we can highly recommend Bacarrat as a simple way to get a whole bunch of fun and thrills with your dinner guests.

Spread the love