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oyster liquor - yay or nay?

personally i think the oyster liquor (the liquid inside the shell that the oyster is happily living in) holds a good chunk of the flavor and is the best part of slurping down a chilled oyster. but several people and/or restaurants drain out the liquor before eating/serving them. the union oyster house here in boston is famous for their oyster bar, but the way they shuck their oysters (i.e. slamming the oyster and shucking knife on a big piece of stone) causes all the delicious liquid to spill out. i'm always disappointed when i order chilled oysters and they come to me without the oyster liquor. it's just not the same.

what's your preference chowhounds?

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  1. Yay. I too am dissapointed when I receive juiceless oysters. Also can't stand when they drown them in mignonette or what have you instead of putting it in a little dish on the side. Some of us do actually want to taste the oyster! Mmmm, oysters, I haven't been eating nearly enough!

    1. I couldnt agree more. There is nothing worst than a dry or vinegar doused oyster.

      1. Dry oysters are such a shame. I think it is dued to poor shucking...having dirt and bits of shell in the liquor, so they remove them by draining the oyster. And then there are places that shucked their oysters ahead of time.

        1. shucking the oyster ahead of time may be the only thing worst than shucking it fresh and draining the liquor.

          1. You can put me in the "hate dry oyster"school. That wonderful cold brininess is part of the wonderful experience of eating a freshly shucked raw oyster. No hot sauce, crackers, horseradish, just a cold oyster with it's wonderful liquor. A plague upon restaurants that drain or doctor up their oysters.

            1. This isn't even a question. The oyster liquor is an ESSENTIAL part of the oyster-eating experience.

              1. Gotta have the liquor with the oyster. Drives me up a wall when they come laying on a shell with no juice. It's like clam strips instead of whole bellies. The "juice" from the belly make the whole thing work.

                1. No excuse for spilling the juice.

                  If you know how to shuck keep the juice and the muck.

                  A dry oyster is a disoyster.

                  (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

                  I have shucked a lot of clams and oysters, and there is just no excuse for spilling the liquid.

                  1. I agree that the oyster liquor is essential for great flavor and I enjoy it when endulging in a fresh chilled raw oyster. So my preference is yay!

                    Now on a slightly different topic. I was 'paroosing' through the Drinks section at the Recipes board. A drink recipe there calls for adding a (excuse me, while I shiver and shudder a moment) smoked oyster to a vodka martini which of course sinks to the bottom. Now a smoked oyster's look takes on a very different one from that of a raw oyster. One that I consider would not look very appitizing sitting in the bottom of a martini glass filled with my favorite cocktail (see my comments in the Recipes 'Drinks' section). I like oysters. I like them prepared in many various ways. But not dropped and sunk to the bottom of a martini cocktail in its tradtional glass. Your thoughts?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: crt

                      Yay to oyster liquor! That is why I love New Orleans they understand the importance of things like liquor and liquor.

                      I don't think I'd want a smoked oyster at the bottom of every martini I drink, but it might be appropriate in a cocktail before dinner. Expecially before seafood or a good steak. Otherwise I'd pass.

                    2. oyster liquor is so important that I don't even add anything to my oysters when I eat them raw. I can't stand hot sauce, cocktail sauce, or even lemon juice added to them. I like to savour them plain...and if they aren't swimming in their own juices I get sad ):

                      booooo to no oyster liquor

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bitsubeats

                        Why just yesterday I was going to have about 6 fresh shucked oysters(arsters) at Faidleys Seafood Stall in Baltimore's Lexington Market . You just belly up to the raw bar ,no seats and place your order. The shucker shucks them right in front of you, onto a paper plate with some lemon if you are so inclined(I'm not), or hot sauce or horseradish, or cocktail sauce. Those oysters hit the spot sooooooo well that I ended up eating about eighteen and forgoing the crabcakes.
                        These had enough juice that even after "slurping the oyster" there was enough to still drink from the shell. Not an everyday lunch but yesterday was perfect!!!