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Oyster Shooters

Can't remember the last time I've indulged in some oyster shooters, but had a craving and am using the Superbowl this Sunday as an excuse to satisfy it.
Don't necessarily have the ambition to shuck ....so will pick up some selects instead.
Was somewhat suprised at pricing at local grocery's.....$6 and change for 8oz........( I won't have many joining me within family/group of friends, unless the beer consumption gets going, so I won't be going to a seafood market to get a shucked gallon).
Anyhow, if memory still serves, I'll also be picking up some Ken's cocktail sauce, some prepared horseradish, lemons, hotsauce...............
What am I forgetting, if anything..........any recs, suggestions, advice , would be much appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

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  1. I love them with a little beer, little cocktail sauce - that's it (particularly if it's good cocktail sauce, otherwise hot sauce and horseradish added in). Yum!! We just had them a few weeks ago.

        1. re: Procrastibaker

          Some feel they call for a saltine or other very bland cracker, but I don't agree, although if they're not on the half shell, it's a good vehicle.

          Champagne and oysters. Especially if you're a Steelers fan ;). Can't imagine beer, but the vodka would be good if it was very cold and either lemon or peppar.

          1. re: Whosyerkitty

            Frozen Peppar in a shot glass, drop in oyster, small dash of Tabasco (optional), hit it. Repeat as needed. Introduced to our gang at Oyster Easter '96, I think it was - this was/is an annual institution in Nashville, held on the Saturday before Easter every year since sometime in the '60s. Founded as a default celebration by undergrads stuck on the Vanderbilt campus over Easter break, oysters and alcohol are and always have been the heart and soul of this jolly event. Them shooters wuz just a-waitin' to happen...

            1. re: Will Owen

              Love them this way, but be careful, they will hurt you!!!

            2. re: Whosyerkitty

              Maybe beer is a Baltimore/Chesapeake thing? This is the only way I know of an "oyster shooter." I'd consider the oyster with a cracker and cocktail sauce just, well, raw oysters. Shooters are usually the oyster actually dropped into a shot of beer with some cocktail sauce, hence the "shooter."

          2. Reading the posts, it seems 'oyster shooter' means different things to different people.

            I agree, Procrastibaker, eating them on the half shell, I'd just call them 'oysters on the half shell' or with crackers, just call 'em 'oysters'.

            To me, a shooter (with oysters or not) is a drink in a shot glass meant to be drunk in one shot.
            Our oyster shooters are made like mini bloody caesars (or bloody marys); in a shotglass, vodka, oyster, salt (or celery salt) and pepper, worcesterhire, Tobasco, lemon, and clamato juice (or tomato juice).
            The beer oyster shooters sound good too.

            Was at a food fest a few years ago. They prepared an oyster shooter as I described. The kicker was their delivery method - you could slurp it down out of a plastic shot glass, but they also had an ice sculpture with a half dozen channels (like a slide) about 3 feet long and angled about 60 degrees. You position yourself at the bottom of the ice slide and the pretty woman pours the shooter at the top of the channel. It slides down, gathering speed, right into your mouth!

            1. Southern girl, cold shot glass, beer, oyster, a little hot sauce and or horshradish and there you go ... I do always have crackers for the whimps. Sometimes they like a bite after. Oh yes lemons too. That is it for me, can I come?

              1 Reply
              1. re: kchurchill5

                darnit!!! After watching CSI Miami a couple weeks ago I have been cravig oyster shooters ever since. It's strange because I've tried a raw oyster ONCE, I'm by no means a fan or anything.

                But our local asian buffet serves them on the halfshell and next time we go I'm taking a shot glass with me.

                I figure a half pee sized ball of wasabi would be a reasonable stand in for horseradish.


                I love wasabi anyway. They of course also have coctail sauce and lemon. ... I'm not big on beer or vadka or anyother kind of alcahol and I love lemon, coctail suace and horsradish (wasabi) anyway so I'll stick to that version.

              2. At my wedding lunch we served fresh oysters on the half shell and bloody mary oyster shooters, shot glass with oyster at the bottom, some tomato juices, tobasco, salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce.....a treat on a hot afternoon.

                Trying to attach a picture of our oyster bar, hope it comes through

                8 Replies
                1. re: waytob

                  way to go!!!! Fabulous idea, classy, love it!!!!

                  1. re: waytob

                    A popular oyster bar near us serves the bloody mary oyster shooters -- with pepper vodka. They're delicious!

                    I had a version of the oyster shooter at a restaurant in New York years ago. It featured Aquavit, an oyster, some sort of very concentrated tomato juice (it was fresh and quite delicious) and creme fraiche. They were wonderful.

                    At our restaurant we make a signature Wasabi Bloody Mary. I'm certain that an oyster would go well in a shot of that.

                    A question to chowhounds: If I shuck oysters into tomato juice with lemon juice in it, and leave them sitting in it, do you think the oysters would "cook" as the fish does in ceviche? I wonder if the texture of the oyster so treated would be interesting or just chewy.

                    1. re: shaogo

                      You'll never know until you try, will you? My plan would be to make maybe three, and try each one over a chosen interval, beginning with the soonest you'd expect to consume it, ending with the longest you'd expect to wait.

                      Thanks to everyone for reviving this thread. Now I'm gonna be a little grumpy until I can have me some shooters!

                      1. re: Will Owen

                        ditto, all I need to do is read about oysters and It starts a severe craving.

                        1. re: Will Owen

                          Since it's been revived I'll throw in my two cents: it's gotta be a stout, baby, in more of a taster glass than a shot glass if you've got one. A marriage made in heaven...and keep 'em coming. It's probably better to do multiples with beer than vodka, anyway.

                          1. re: TongoRad

                            Not if you're old and subject to gout, it's not! Anyway, while I can toss back vodka easily (until I fall over), drinking any kind of beer in gulps gives me bad gas and an instant hangover. I'd rather have to let someone drive me home than go through that.

                        2. re: shaogo

                          Forgot to add we had vodka in ours as well. Personally I find adding the oyster and leaving it for too long changes the texture of the oyster.
                          In our case, I think also because it was by the beach in 35degree (centigrade) weather, we kept the oysters on ice, and the vodka in the freezer until just before shooting

                        3. re: waytob

                          That's my kind of bloody mary.....

                        4. Mmmm. oyster shooters. Thanks. Now I know what I'll be serving on Sunday.

                          You have two key decisions to make:

                          Alcohol or none.

                          Ketchup/tomato sauce or none.

                          With good quality oysters I prefer to keep it simple -- no alcohol, no ketchup. One oyster, a squeeze of lemon or lime, a spot of horseradish sauce, wasabi, or shredded fresh horseradish, and a spot of your favorite hot sauce or finely diced chiles. Garnish with some finely chopped green onions. If you want alcohol, serve it in a separate glass as a chaser. Some folks will insist on adding ketchup, so put a squeeze bottle of Heinz on the table and pretend you don't care.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: Zeldog

                            Can't imagine downing a raw oyster that wasn't freshly shucked. Can't you just get some oyster knives and let your guests dive in? You could do a short shucking tutorial at the outset.

                            1. re: pikawicca

                              That's a great idea. People who say they appreciate oysters don't really appreciate them fully until they've had to shuck one... or twenty dozen (in my case). If one has a good oyster knife and the oysters are very, very cold it's not that hard to do -- but it's very hard to do well (i.e., preserve the sac and the liquor) unless one has practice.

                              1. re: pikawicca

                                I have 3 oyster knife scars on my left hand. None of them happened at Superbowl parties, but beer was a factor each time. Shuck the oysters for your guests. Maybe they'll be impressed, and you won't risk taking one of them to the ER.

                                1. re: Zeldog

                                  Get the damn gloves and wear them!! I volunteered to shuck oysters at an E Clampus Vitus "Clampout" a couple of years ago, after I'd spent the day sipping on a wine jug. Not only did the oyster guys have proper oyster knives, they had the steel mesh gloves as well (semi-drunken Will to oyster person: "Be these mithril, Gandalf?"). The oyster got opened, and despite all the slips and mis-cuts no Owen blood was shed. Oh, they were delicious, too...

                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                    I always just wrap a kitchen towel around my hand, those mesh gloves cost $50 or more last time I checked. Maybe $100, just know they were too expensive for a few times a year.

                                    Lately I use a tip given me by a bayman: Stick the oyster in the microwave for 10 seconds, then they pop right open when you stick the knife in. Doesn't cook them at all, just stuns them I guess.

                                    1. re: coll

                                      coll, what a great tip! You should post this tip on the What is one tip thread.

                                      1. re: coll

                                        I'll do that, I've mentioned it here time to time but not recently. It could very well be my favorite tip of all time: I'm planning on oysters rockefeller and maybe some shooters next week for Mardi Gras and no anxiety about the opening part any more. I just do them one at a time, 10 seconds and pop, they're open! Can't wait, they're on sale this weekend a dozen for $4.99.

                                        1. re: coll

                                          I'm definitely going to give this a try and Mardi Gras is the perfect excuse to indulge. Thanks M

                                      2. re: Will Owen

                                        My solution was simpler and cheaper than buying fancy gloves. Don't drink and shuck.

                                        Actually, a friend gave me one of those mithril gloves, but I only wear it when using a mandolin, or if I go to a costume party as Michael Jackson.

                                        1. re: Zeldog

                                          The milieu described above was (and always is) one where beer for breakfast is more common than not, and anyone picked for shucking duty will almost certainly have been imbibing all day (yes, there are teetotalers at these events, but they don't hang out with the oyster crowd). My point was that if the proper equipment can protect a semi-tipsy shucker it can protect anyone.

                                          By the way, I neglected to put an S on the end of Oyster up there - I did not shuck AN oyster, but a few dozen. Without undue incident...

                                2. BTW at Costco they have a large bottle, 32 ozs. I believe of shucked oysters that I've used for oyster stew. Can't recall exactly how much it was but it was VERY reasonable (under $20). Plenty of pcs. for shooters.