A Complete Guide to Cocktail Sauces

Cocktail sauce is the easiest recipe that you want to try at home. It requires only 3 ingredients and 1 step. If you are using a branded cocktail sauce, then you can try making one at home. Cocktail sauce is one of the several types of sauces at cold or room temperature. They are served as a part of the dish, especially with kinds of seafood such as shrimps. 

Cocktail sauce is also referred to as a seafood cocktail or as a condiment with other seafood. The sauce and the dish bear the name attributed to famous British chef Fanny Cradock. The seafood cocktails predate Cradock’s recipe in 1967. For example, Constance Spry released a fruit cocktail in 1956, using Dublin Bay Shrimps or Prawns.

A Complete Guide to Cocktail Sauces

Cocktail sauce finds its roots in the United Kingdom in the 20th century. A simple cocktail sauce was introduced by a British celebrity chef Fanny Cradock. Usually, it was made with shrimp or oyster. Seafood with cold and spicy sauces was an established part of the culinary repertoire of the 20th century. The cocktail sauce is mostly associated with shrimp or prawn cocktails, but you can serve it with any seafood.

Cocktail Sauce Nutrition Facts

100 grams serving of cocktail sauce contains following nutrient values:

Nutrition  Value 
Calories  124
Fat  1.1g
Sodium 983 mg
Potassium 309 mg
Carbohydrate  38g
Dietary Fiber  1.8g
Sugar  12g
Protein  1.4g
Vitamin A 7%
Vitamin C 19%
Iron 4%
Calcium 2%
Vitamin B6 5%
Magnesium  4%

The percentage values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. The calorie needs can vary from person to person depending on their diet and calorie needs.

Making Homemade Cocktail Sauce 

servings of cocktail shrimp with dipping sauce

Making a homemade cocktail sauce is perfect for roasted veggies, baked potatoes, cold shrimps, etc. Preparation time for homemade cocktail sauce is just 5 minutes. 


  • Ketchup – 2/3 cup
  • Horseradish – 2 tbsp, prepared
  • Worcestershire sauce – 1 tsp 
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp 
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Minced Garlic 


Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Before serving, refrigerate it for 30 minutes. to improve the shelf life of the cocktail sauce, you can add few dashes of hot sauce. Instead of using ketchup, you can use chili sauce. This will help you to keep it in the fridge for 1 week. 

The nutrition values of the homemade cocktail sauce are as following:

Nutrition Value
Calories  199
Carbohydrates  47g
Protein 2g
Fat  1g
Saturated Fat 1g
Sodium 1636mg
Potassium 626mg
Fiber  1g
Sugar  38g
Vitamin A 821IU
Vitamin C  16mg
Calcium 42mg
Iron 1mg

Try This Cocktail Sauce 

Try This Cocktail Sauce 

A cocktail sauce can not only be served with seafood but also with the following dishes:

  • Roast beef sandwich 
  • Burgers 
  • Cream cheese and tortilla chips 
  • Bloody Mary; mixed with tomato juice
  • Tangy veggie; as a dip
  • Seafood pizza 
  • Fresh salad
  • Meatloaf topping 
  • Light dip for crudites platter 
  • Cocktail meatball sauce 
  • Relish tray

Shelf life 


The shelf life of homemade cocktail sauce can be up to 6 months. It can only happen if you are storing it in an airtight container or a refrigerator. The cocktail sauce will stay fresh and you can use it any time. If you are freezing the cocktail sauce, it can stay fresh for as long as 12 months. 

Health Benefits 


Cocktail sauce is relatively having lower calories and fat. The health benefits of cocktail sauce depend on the usage. The high content of carbohydrates and sodium can have various health benefits or side effects. To balance out the carbohydrates, you can consume the cocktail sauce with shrimps or any other high-protein plates of seafood. 

The sodium content in the cocktail sauce will help you to conduct never impulses, maintaining the level of water and minerals, and contract and relax the muscle. A little amount of sodium is enough to perform these tasks in the human body. Too much consumption of cocktail sauce with high content of sodium can be bad for your health especially heart disease and blood pressure. 

The carbohydrates in the cocktail sauce can be the main source of energy for your brain, heart muscles, kidneys, central nervous system, etc. Along with carbohydrates, there is fiber too which helps in digestion, blood cholesterol levels, and helps you to feel full. Consumption of cocktail sauce can be a good source of carbohydrates for energy. 

Homemade VS Store-Bought Cocktail Sauce 


The cocktail sauce you make at home is fresh and tastier than the store-bought cocktail sauce. The store-bought cocktail sauce is having preservatives to improve the shelf life. On the other hand, you can easily store the homemade cocktail sauce in a container or fridge for a longer time. The taste and freshness of the homemade sauce will be more than the store-bought cocktail sauce. 

Varieties of Cocktail Sauce

North America 


In the United States and Canada, most of the cocktail sauce contains chili sauce or ketchup that is mixed with horseradish. The common additives in the cocktail sauce are Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce, and lemon juice. Some restaurants use spicier tomato-based sauce or chili sauce instead of ketchup. 

The United Kingdom and Other Countries 

The United Kingdom and Other Countries 

The common form of cocktail sauce in the United Kingdom, Iceland, Ireland, France, Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands is usually having mayonnaise mixed with tomato sauce. It is in the same color as prawns. The cocktail sauce prepared in these countries can be compared with the fry sauce. Also, it is similar to Thousand Island Dressing. The British name of the cocktail sauce is Marie or Rose Sauce. 

The origin of the Marie or Rose Sauce can be derived from the team cook working at the site of the Tudor ship, Mary Rose and Fanny Cradock. In the 1920s, the term first appeared for garnishing shrimp. It has been in use since 1963. 

Marie or Rose Sauce was related to the color and Escoffier uses. It was described as a pink iced pudding. It became something of a joke in Britain because it was so ubiquitous in the 1960s and 1970s alongside the associated dish known as shrimp cocktail. 

In Belgium, a dash of whiskey is added to the cocktail sauce. It is served with steamed shrimp and in the half shell of shellfish. In Australia, the cocktail sauce is served with fish and chips. 

Oyster Bars 


Cocktail sauce is the standard accompaniment to raw oysters in most American oyster bars. The standard ingredients are horseradish, ketchup, and hot sauce. The hot sauce used in the cocktail sauce can be Louisiana, Tabasco, Crystal, etc. Along with hot sauce and other ingredients, they use lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.

A soufflé cup is usually placed in the middle of the oyster platter with a cocktail fork and lemon wedge. The bottles of ketchup and other sauces are often clustered in stations every two feet along the counter. Some of the oyster bars serve their customers with the ingredients they like. 

Cocktail Sauce – Not Only a Seafood Condiment

The origin of the cocktail sauce comes from seafood dips or condiments. In the 20th century, it was first brought to the public with an easy recipe by Fanny Cradock. A simple and easy recipe makes it easier for everyone to make it at home and enjoy it with seafood and other foods such as burgers, pizzas, tortilla chips, etc. You can store it for a long time and enjoy your evening snacks with cocktail sauce.