Do you ever hear a word and ponder how it got its name? That’s what I wonder when I hear the name “Cocktail Sauce.” The origin of the name comes from Prawns that were served to hang around the edges of a cocktail glass. A red dipping sauce, created by a British cook named Fanny Cradock who was an English restaurant critic, television celebrity chef, and writer who frequently appeared on television during the 1960’s. She is credited for creating the red cocktail sauce as a condiment to be served at room temperature and paired with seafood as an appetizer.
If you travel around the world, you may find different versions of cocktail sauce. In America, it is made with ketchup or chili sauce, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco sauce. In Europe, it consists of mayonnaise, tomato sauce and sometimes a dash of whiskey.
To be honest, I have never tasted a bottled cocktail sauce that gives the fresh, vibrant flavors that a homemade version might. Since the sauce is served with fresh seafood, shouldn’t the cocktail sauce be just as delicious?
I recently visited Florida and spent a weekend with my friend Laurie,owner of Basimo Beach Cafe, testing out a variety of her recipes to be featured in my cookbook. One of her recipes is a fresh, zesty homemade cocktail sauce that I like to call, “The Real Deal Cocktail Sauce” because it’s just that.
I love this recipe because although the measurements create a mouth-watering explosion of flavor when paired with shrimp, crab claw, or any seafood you prefer, you can easily adjust the ingredients to dial up or down the heat. One bite of this sauce and you will never buy a bottled cocktail sauce again. Enjoy!
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