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favorite cocktail sauce?

Making steamed spiced shrimp as an ap on Valentines Day for my sweetie. But I realized I have never bought cocktail sauce and was wondering if folks has a favorite brand?? thanks!

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  1. I usually buy Heinz's chili sauce and add lemon and horseradish to make cocktail sauce. I think they make a cocktail sauce--but I've never tried it. This is what my mom always used so I go with it.

    1. crosse and blackwell is pretty good, too. but dct has a good idea. doctor to your heart's content!

      1 Reply
      1. re: alkapal

        Crosse and Blackwell is the only cocktail sauce I will buy. They even have a special "zesty shrimp sauce" that's perfect for, well, SHRIMP! :-)

        Here's a link to their seafood sauces:


      2. Why not make it yourself? Takes maybe 3 minutes: ketchup, tomato paste, lemon, s&p to taste, and tons of horseradish... well, that's how *I* like it. Cheaper than storebought, and you can crank your own level of heat --

        1 Reply
        1. re: linguafood

          lingua is right -- it is nothing to make.

        2. Heinz ketchup, creamed horseradish and lemon juice, freshly squeezed is my basic recipe. For some heat addicts, I'll add a few drops of Tabasco to their portion.

          3 Replies
          1. re: OCEllen

            Second OCE, but I would use fresh grated horseradish for the kick. Creamed horseradish can sometimes be on the shelf too long (and has been too processed), and the flavor does degrade. And by fresh, I don't necessarily mean out of your garden- Silver Springs brand can be good when it's FRESH (check the label for dates).

            FWIW, if you have really fresh horseradish, you don't really need the Tabasco.


            1. re: cayjohan

              wonder how long fresh horseradish lasts? dumb question, can it be frozen in a tight zipper bag? or does it lose its' potency?

              1. re: iL Divo

                I've never studied on it but I know it goes south within a few months even in an unopened jar. It is not really a problem here in Lousiana becuase the Zatarain's brand sells so fast that it is still potent and it gets used up pretty fast since we use it in bloody marys, remoulade sauce, oyster dope etc. But I have bought Beaver brand by the gallon and divided it into several zip lock bags (we usually do this with a group of three or four people) and it holds up well in the freezer. It is not perfect but it keeps more heat, it seems to me. A friend who raises it grinds it up and puts it in little plastic tupperware things in teh freezer. He says it usually gets him through to the next crop but the long-stuff is fading.

          2. Homemade is so easy-fresh, grated horseradish, ketchup and tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, fresh lemon juice and Tabasco sauce. Proportion to your taste, I like enough horseradish to make my nose tingle on the 1st bite.

            1. make it yourself, it's so easy. Heinz ketchup, a dash of worcestershire sauce, horseradish,lemon juice, tabasco or any hot sauce you have around the house . And I add just a dash of fish sauce, but it's not necessary. You will find it's better than any thing you get from a bottle because you modify it to your taste. Enjoy

              1 Reply
              1. re: currymouth

                I use almost the same recipe; equal parts horseradish and Heinz ketchup (it must be Heinz), dash of worcestershire sauce and the juice of one lemon.

              2. you know what might make an alternative, just add a bit of grated ginger with or instead of the horseradish. have two sauces!

                1. This sauce is the one I've been making since I came across the recipe last summer. Everyone (even those whose palates qualify them for anti-chowhound status) loves it.

                  I double the horseradish because otherwise it's pretty thin, and--in my opinion--more horseradish is better!


                  (Keeps very well in the refrigerator.)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mamaciita

                    mamaciita -- you use 2/3 cup horseradish? wow-za!

                    1. re: alkapal

                      It's not really that hot--there's 1/2 cup of chili sauce--not to mention the ketchup.

                      Then again, maybe I'm using the wrong horseradish. . .

                  2. Wos Wit Chili sauce, Atomic Horseradish, Dave's Insane hot sauce, fresh lime juice and grated onion. Some cock tale!

                    1. I've always loved Bookbinders for great flavor with a nice hoseradish kick--but alas-it's got high fructose corn syrup--as do so many. If you can give that a pass, then it's quite tasty.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: SeaSide Tomato

                        Wos Wit, Grouse Hunt Farms, Tamaqua, Pa is a small private farm that puts out a unique and flavorful chili sauce that imparts a clean, fresh flavor, but you'll need to add the horseradish. No preservatives. Available on line or at the farm.

                      2. I buy Gold's the same company that sells the prepared horseradish. There is plenty of horseradish already in it, it's not as sweet as some of the others also.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Eric in NJ

                          I'm a fan of Gold's as well. Another condiment I could (almost) eat alone!

                        2. I love Hoffmans. I can only get it at Market Basket (DeMoulas) in the Boston area. Use to be a Crosse and Blackwell fan but Hoffmans has a HUGE horseradish kick to it that I absolutely love! Really cleans the sinuses!

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: MeffaBabe

                            i like horseradish, but too much will overpower the delicate shrimp flavor. otherwise, just eat the cocktail sauce with a spoon. much cheaper than using shrimp!

                            i've got it, just use shrimp stock and make a nice "cocktail sauce" soup! ;-) hey, i may have just started a new line of "condiment soups".....

                            sriracha, anyone?

                            1. re: alkapal

                              Put me on your mailing list.I just know me hanging on to all those bags of shrimp and lobster shells would come to some good use.

                              1. re: alkapal

                                alkapal, you have me thinking about a tomato-based soup, jazzed with horseradish, and served with, perhaps, grilled shrimps. You're onto something!


                                1. re: cayjohan

                                  a splash of worcestershire, lemon juice -- all the cocktail sauce ingredients! (maybe marinate the shrimp in a little lemon juice, olive oil, and grated ginger juice, or cilantro.or.maybe a puree of celery, carrot, bell pepper and vinegar and chile, similar to a carrot chutney sauce i have at my fave indian resto.....)

                                  now that should warm you up!

                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    Jumbo shrimp marinated in cane juice, lite soy,garlic, dark rum, sea salt and young ginger. Grilled on a coal fire and served in a reduced sauce of shell fish skins, heavy cream,butter and shallots.on a bed of bokchoy and fried bread fruit strings. Gorden Ramsey would have a meltdown with the menu

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      Yum, alkapal, and to currymouth as well.

                                      Crap, though...now I have to make one or the other or both. <Heavy sigh>

                                      Yes, will warm me up!

                                      Mouth watering,

                              2. My twist on homemade, which uses Heinz ketchup, horseradish, some lemon juice, and a few drops of Grace Jamaican hot sauce (much hotter than Tabasco, so I do mean a "FEW" drops - 2-3). Then, for about 1/2 cup of ketchup, I add a scant tablespoon of either real mayo (not Kraft "whipped dressing"!), or a medium to full fat sour cream (low fat or fat-free is too watery). You still get a nice bite and flavour from the horseradish and hot sauce, but the mayo or sour cream mellows it just enough that your tongue (and your shrimp!) aren't overwhelmed. Please note I said a scant, not heaping, tablespoon. You really don't need much.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: KevinB

                                  cocktail sauce flirting with a new orleans style remoulade (sans herbs)....it is nice to mellow it out. like a riff on shrimp louis....

                                  1. re: KevinB

                                    Grace's is made in Costa Rica? right?I had it once and thought it was full of filler, Green papaya, corn starch, sugar.

                                    1. re: currymouth

                                      Not the bottle I got here in Canada - I just checked it. "Grace Hot Pepper Sauce" - made in Jamaica, it's bright red, and the only ingredients listed are peppers, water, vinegar, and spices. When I first bought it, I added the normal two tablespoons which I add when using Tabasco in my hot wing sauce. I thought my mouth was on fire! Don't know what you had, but I doubt we are talking about the same product.

                                      1. re: KevinB

                                        isn't grace's made with scotch bonnets?

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          You may well be right, but it just say "peppers" on the label, mon!

                                        2. re: KevinB

                                          The Grace's we get in New Jersey is processed in Costa Rica and leaves a lot to be desired. It is made with Scotch Bonnet peppers but the last time I tried it, the heat was soso, and the texture was like spoiled milk. Maybe I got a old bottle.

                                          1. re: currymouth

                                            I wonder if that's because we have such a large Jamaican population in Toronto, and they demanded the Jamaican product? If you're ever up here, it's available in most groceries, and it's quite reasonable - just a couple of dollars for a 4-5 oz bottle, which lasts me about 6 months in the fridge.

                                    2. Ketchup (or Heinz chili sauce)
                                      Lemon juice
                                      Splash Worcestshire