More fun than the American classic, the Mexican take on the dish has a whole lot more personality, so says Cook’s Illustrated. Cóctel de camarón offers an incredible mix of flavors and textures: plump, tender poached shrimp; crisp bites of raw onion and cucumber; and cool, creamy avocado are all coated in a tangy, spicy-sweet tomato sauce.
“Eaten ice‑cold with a spoon and saltines, it’s like a festive, shrimp‑packed Bloody Mary or gazpacho.”Cook’s Illustrated
V8’s blend of tomato and vegetable juices and lack of added sweeteners give the dish a welcome savory balance. To round out the dish, cut a ripe avocado and half an English cucumber into bite-size chunks. For savory crunch, add finely chopped red onion to the mix. Finally, a smattering of chopped cilantro contributes freshness.
For a fun presentation, I served the cocktail in margarita glasses accompanied by a long handled spoon and a basket of nacho chips. Son David and girlfriend Vikki joined us for dinner that evening and absolutely loved their appetizers. They scarfed it down in no time!
If you don’t have margarita glasses, another serving option would be a martini glass. In the end, no matter what you serve the shrimp cocktails in, your guests will gobble them up!
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
- 1 ¼ lbs. large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), peeled, deveined, and tails removed
- ¼ tsp. table salt, plus salt for cooking shrimp
- 1 cup V8 juice, chilled
- ½ cup ketchup
- 3 Tbsp. lime juice (2 limes), plus lime wedges for serving
- 2 tsp. hot sauce, plus extra for serving
- ½ English cucumber, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and cut into ½-inch pieces
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Saltines (or tortilla chips or thick-cut potato chips)
- Bring 3 cups water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Stir in shrimp and 1 tablespoon salt. Cover and let stand off heat until shrimp are opaque, about 5 minutes, shaking saucepan halfway through.
- Fill large bowl halfway with ice and water. Transfer shrimp to ice bath and let cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Once cool, cut each shrimp crosswise into 3 pieces (or more if using larger shrimp).
- Combine V8 juice, ketchup, lime juice, hot sauce, and salt in medium bowl.
- Add cucumber, onion, and shrimp and stir until evenly coated. Stir in avocado and cilantro.
- Portion cocktail into individual bowls or glasses and serve immediately, passing saltines (or chips), lime wedges, and extra hot sauce separately.
Recipe compliments of Cook’s Illustrated