Culture: How to Make the Perfect Shrimp Cocktail from Scratch | Wine Enthusiast
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Shrimp Cocktail

How to Make the Perfect Shrimp Cocktail from Scratch

Courtesy Richard Ingraham, founder/chef,

As personal chef to athlete Dwyane Wade and his superstar wife, actress Gabrielle Union, Richard Ingraham of ChefRLI, a private chef network, creates nutritious meals that never skimp on flavor. Here, he shares an easy way to revamp a familiar appetizer: Make it from scratch.

If you’re used to shrimp cocktail made from precooked shrimp and bottled sauce, this recipe will be a revelation.


1½ pounds shell-on jumbo shrimp
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 bay leaves
1 small onion, sliced
4 fresh tarragon sprigs
1 lemon, halved, plus additional wedges for serving

Shrimp Cocktail Directions

Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails attached. Reserve shells.

Fill pot with 8 cups water. Add shrimp shells, salt, wine, peppercorms, coriander, bay leaves, onion, tarragon and lemon. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce to simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and let sit 30 minutes. Strain into new pot.

Fill large bowl with ice water. Set aside.

Bring stock to boil, remove from heat, and immediately add shrimp. Cover pot and let sit for 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp to prepared ice bath until cool. Drain and pat dry.

Serve alongside lemon wedges and cocktail sauce. Serves 4–6 as appetizer.

Cocktail Sauce

Mix 1 cup chili sauce, ¾ teaspoon lemon zest, 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, 1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper, ¾ teaspoon hot sauce and 1½ teaspoons Creole seasoning, like Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 week.

Wine Pairing

Commanderie de Peyrassol 2019 Château Peyrassol Rosé (Côtes de Provence). A perennial summer favorite, Provençal rosé goes as well with the briny-sweet shrimp as the zippy, tomato-based cocktail sauce. This bottling is primarily made from Cinsault, Syrah and Grenache, a combination that lends juicy, red-berry notes and refreshing acidity.

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