Do you remember the Italian Shrimp Cocktail?

This is a decidedly vintage recipe since it was trendy in the 1970s and 1980s. It is a seafood appetizer suitable for all occasions.

When I went to weddings as a child, the delicious shrimp cocktail served in champagne glasses or glass bowls was the starter.

Original Italian Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

I didn’t like going to weddings; I was so bored because my parents didn’t let me play with the other children running around the tables because they said we could bother the adults.

I remember that the poor waiters had to sidestep the children, who were running, screaming, and pushing each other. I also remember the fear of watching the waiters try not to drop the dishes.

Despite everything, I enjoyed the appetizer time. I savored these prawns swimming in a pink sauce, all laid out on a bed of romaine lettuce leaves.

By now, if you’ve seen previous recipes, you know that I prefer fresh shrimp, but you can also use frozen ones very well.

Original Italian Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

Original Italian Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

Prep Time 10 mins Total Time 10 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 4 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Italian shrimp cocktail, also known as "cocktail di gamberi" in Italy, is a refreshing and elegant appetizer featuring poached shrimp served with a tangy, flavorful cocktail sauce. This dish is an excellent addition to any gathering or special meal. Here's a recipe you can follow to make an Italian shrimp cocktail:


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    • Rinse the shrimps under running water, and remove the shells by carefully not breaking the body.
    • Remove the black thread from the back of the shrimp (the intestine) with a toothpick.
    • Put water to a boil in a saucepan and cook the shrimp for a few seconds.
    • Drain them and let them cool.
    • In a bowl, add the mayonnaise and mix it with the ketchup, the Worchester sauce, and the cognac (or brandy).
    • Mix carefully so that the sauce (which will have a pink color) is well-mixed.
    • Add the shrimp to the pink sauce (if they are small, leave them whole; if they are large prawns, cut them into small pieces) and mix well.
    • Cut the lettuce leaves into julienne strips.
    • All the ingredients are ready. 
    • Take some small glass bawls, lay a layer of lettuce on the bottom, and add 2-3 tablespoons (depending on the glass size) of shrimp in a pink sauce.
    • Decorate as you wish, I have decorated it with a sprinkling of paprika
Keywords: Italian shrimp cocktail
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