Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail: Celebration Food #SundaySupper

shrimp cocktail, shrimp, appetizer

I know we’re getting into the time of year of bridal showers and baby showers and such- but it’s also coming on GRADUATION time-as it turns out- MY graduation!

I am delighted to announce that I have officially completed my Masters degree coursework, and my thesis has been accepted and approved!  I am now able to proudly place the letters, MS, after my name. Earlier this week, when I received the confirmation, I was immediately hit with wild, teary emotion. I was washed over with such a powerful feeling of relief and satisfaction. I had set a long range goal, and now, after imagining this moment for so long- it is finally here. 

So dear friends, if you have nothing else to raise a glass for, you are welcome to join me in my happy dance as your excuse to eat, drink, and be merry!  (there really should be dancing)

For those who don’t know, I’ve been working on my degree is in Nutrition and Applied Physiology at Columbia University. It was a long 7 years ago when I made the decision to rearrange my life and head back to school. It was terrifying at first. I had been a fairly confident and successful business woman, but what if I failed at this? After all, it had been 20+ years since I sat in a classroom. I was dedicating myself to a long ranged commitment, and I wasn’t exactly clear of the direction that I wanted to go- just a positive feeling that I had to point my bow forward and keep plodding toward it.  

And you know what happens when you follow a passion- it brings you to places you never imagined, which are wholly more fantastic. That hazy first step turned into a steady stream of many. Though I had many moments of feeling overwhelmed, or questioned the risks and investments I was making- in the end it has left me stronger, and frankly, amazed.

The work and struggle have not all been my own.  Sacrifice and patience has been demanded of several people in my life, especially my beautiful fiancée Pam.

For the past two years I’ve been living in NYC while she has been renovating and tending to our home in Louisiana. There has been a lot of back and forth, and hours upon hours of FaceTime, which frankly has just worn us out. In a few weeks we will attend my convocation. Shortly after I doff my mortar board and gown, Pam and I will pack up my apartment and head home- at last- together. Then my life will begin- again.


But enough of that, let’s get back to celebrating deliciously.

I’m a huge fan of this boozy starter. I’m always a fan of things that bear double duty. It’s is tidy little shot of a cocktail, with a lady like nosh to go along with it. Sounds like the best way to start a celebration to me.

The secret ingredient of this appetizer (drink?) is the grating of your own horseradish. If you can get your hands on some fresh horseradish root it’s well worth it. You often find it in the gnarly root section of the produce aisle. You may wonder why bother when you’ve got that jar hanging out on the door of your fridge. As you can imagine, there is no comparison to the bottled version (which I am NOT opposed to), and hoooo-weeee it’ll get your sinuses going fo’ sho’! Fear not, it’s nothing you can’t handle.

bloody mary cocktail shrimp

I recommend serving these beauties with a little fork to get at the shrimp, then tip back the glass and enjoy the drink. I think these are a great way start to a shower, or brunch, or even a Mother’s Day morning. You can make it all up in advance and simply serve it up when ready.


***I’m also participating in Sunday Supper for the first time this week. Sunday Supper is a great group of bloggers who have gathered together to share some foods that they think you should celebrate with. Check out the links below and please go visit them.

Bloody Mary Cocktail Shrimp
Half cocktail half appetizer, and grating fresh horseradish is the key to success. You may omit the vodka and replace with some tomato juice if you prefer.
52 calories
5 g
18 g
0 g
3 g
0 g
117 g
237 g
2 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 52
Calories from Fat 3
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 18mg
Sodium 237mg
Total Carbohydrates 5g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 2g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 20 extra large uncooked shrimp, cleaned- about a pound
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. 1/2 cup white vinegar
  4. 2 Tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
  5. 1 1/2 cups of pureed fire roasted tomatoes, canned
  6. 4 Tablespoons freshly grated horseradish, or bottled
  7. 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  8. 3 lemons, one juiced and two sliced into 10 slices for garnish
  9. 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  10. 1 teaspoon celery salt
  11. 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  12. Salt to taste
  13. 3 ounces vodka (optional- or replace with tomato juice)
  14. 3 Celery ribs, sliced into tall sticks for garnish
  1. Bring the water, vinegar and Old Bay to a boil in a large sauce pan. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes covered, then turn off heat and allow to sit for another two minutes. Drain and cool. This may be done ahead of time.
  2. Stir together in a bowl: tomatoes, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, hot sauce, celery salt, salt and pepper. Add the vodka and stir smooth.
  3. Divide the Bloody Mary mix between 10 small cups or glasses and top with 2 cooled shrimp, celery and lemon.
  1. The mix can be made in advance, poured into the glasses and kept covered and cold. When ready to serve simply top with shrimp and garnishes.
A Stack of Dishes
Starters, Appetizers & Snacks

Soups, Salads & Sandwiches

Main Dishes


Cookies, Brownies & Dessert Bars

Sweet Treats

Drink Recipes

Join our #SundaySupper Chat!

One of the best parts of #SundaySupper is our weekly Twitter chat. If you love food, you definitely want to join us! Just follow the hashtag #SundaySupper on Twitter this Sunday, April 21st at 7pm EST, and we’ll be chatting about food and fun for baby showers, bridal showers, and parties!

Want even more #SundaySupper? Follow our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for recipes that are sure to impress!


  1. Forget the shower, I’m making these for my husband! As a native Marylander, anything with Old Bay is a must for him and adding in shrimp and a bloody mary sauce? He’ll be over the moon!

  2. Um Yum! Where do I sign up? These look so good. What a pretty presentation!

  3. Diana @GourmetDrizzles says:

    Welcome to #SundaySupper, Gail! What a great recipe, I have some leftover shrimp, and this will be perfect to try!!! And congrats on your graduation! Such exciting times for you 😉

  4. Congratulations on earning your Masters, that’s amazing! And these little shooters are fantastic – the perfect little bites for any shower or party. Or Sunday (I could use one or two now)…

  5. Wow! I love that you shared such an inspirational story with us! I am so happy for you…what an accomplishment! I am so honored that you joined #SundaySupper and will be sharing your beautiful recipes with us! I can not wait to try this fabulous recipe for Shrimp Cocktail!

  6. Congratulations on your engagement, your degree, and your new life!

    And congratulations on making a fabulous dish! I’m a bloody mary addict, and so is my wife! We’ll cheers to you with these!

  7. A Bloody Mary Shooter with a shrimp in it?! You are speaking my language, Gail! Those are beautiful and have got to be delicious. Bloody Marys are one of my favorite drinks and cold boiled shrimp one of my favorite all time foods.

    Congratulations on seeing your dream through successfully. Lots of hard work and separation from loved ones have paid off! You deserve a party with dancing. And maybe just a few of these Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktails.

  8. Ruth Drennan says:

    So proud of you Gail, and so happy for you and Pam 🙂 I’m loving the blog and the recipes! Though I can’t enjoy anything boozy just yet, since Josie will be here any day now, I would gladly drink a toast to you and your many, many accomplishments!

    • Gail Watson says:

      Thank you Ruthie!!! You were a part of that whole process too! Good luck with the baby- Auntie Gail CANNOT wait to meet her! Much love!

  9. Welcome to the group! AND congrats on the MS! Doesn’t it feel great when all the hard work pays off? Now, if you don’t mind, could you pass me one of those shrimp cocktails? 🙂

  10. First off congratulations on earning your MS. I can relate to the tears of joy; well deserved 🙂

    Now, fingerfood and a drink all in one? What could be more perfect? – Love it!

  11. Great photo – my husband would love this one!

  12. CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have lots to celebrate!! And you sure can with these lovely little appetizers. I love when a host makes it easy for you to enjoy something like this!! Just a quick grab dunk, dunk and yum!!

  13. Absolutely stunning presentation and the recipe sounds amazing! Great job 🙂

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  14. These are awesome and so much fun for a party! Congrats on obtaining your MS! Enjoy every moment.

  15. Gail. You are one of the amazing women of the world. A huge congratulations and wishes for a wonderful and happy life with Pam and in your new career. We hope you have a guest room in your new home in Louisiana. BTW…. love those bloodies. :). P.

    • Gail Watson says:

      Thank you Patty- we have a beautiful guest room that will always be waiting for you, and when you come we’ll show you a good Southern time.

  16. Wow! What an accomplishment! You have a great reason to celebrate!! Congrats I can’t wait to feature you come June 🙂 oh and great choice for a party pleaser your pics are amazing!

  17. WOW!
    SO much to congratulate you on.
    First. your graduation. Good for you for going back to school after so many years to follow your passion. AMAZING.
    Second, your impending wedding. AWESOME.
    Third, your bloody Mary shrimp cocktail appetizers. I WANT.
    Best of wishes on everything and thanks for sharing this recipe!!!

  18. Congratulations on your master’s degree, and thank you for sharing this gorgeous recipe!

  19. So many great things going on in your life, a celebration is very fitting! Bloody mary is such a perfect way to do it.

  20. Congratulations on your masters and graduating! Glad you participated in Sunday Supper this week and shared this wonderful recipe. Cheers & Bon Appetit!

    • Gail Watson says:

      Thanks Renee- had a blast participating in Sunday Supper, I’ll be doing it again.

  21. Gail, I’m mentally applauding you for the courage it took to quit work and go back to school. Congratulations on a hard fought and hard won degree! That is really no easy feat, especially after being out of academia for so long. I’m always awed by people who are willing to take a risk and a leap to go after something they believe in (I need a bit of that spunk myself). As for this dish – holy yum, my mouth started watering when I saw the first photo. I love shrimp and could easily eat a few glasses of these. And vodka should never be optional, in my opinion 😉

    • Gail Watson says:

      Thank you Nancy- I LOVE your blog! Laughing at your vodka comment too- agreed 🙂

  22. Congratulations on your Masters Degree! I am so happy that you and Pam will finally gett to prepare for a life together in the same place. 🙂 This cocktail/appetizer is so cute and very clever.

    • Gail Watson says:

      Thank you Laura- life will be more delicious when we are finally together. Glad you like the shrimp 🙂

  23. Congrats on finishing your Masters! What an awesome accomplishment. These sound delicious I could go for a few as an afternoon snack.

  24. I love both of those and as a combo boody mary shrimp sounds perfect! I might just make these on the weekend. Congrats on going back and earning that degree! Enjoy your accomplishment!

  25. Congratulations! It’s a good way to celebrate 🙂


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