Ok, not all, just most.
Typically, a shrimp cocktail has no flavor. It doesn’t taste fresh and sweet like fresh seafood; it tends to taste like ice, and at best like good flavorful cocktail sauce.
Truthfully, you could dip just about anything in that cocktail sauce, and it would taste the same and probably be considerably less expensive.
The reason is that people, especially restaurants, cook the shrimp all wrong!
I have found that most places throw some seasoning into a big pot of water. If you are lucky, they throw in some lemon or a bay leaf too.
Once the water comes to a boil people dump in shrimp in the shell, bring it back to a boil long enough to change color and then drain the shrimp. The next step is running cold water and maybe dumping some ice on top.
As if this has not washed away any possible flavor they then peel the shrimp taking off the only part that picked up any real taste.
So, lets back this up.
Thaw, peel and devein your shrimp (this recipe works for about 2 pounds)
Take all of the shells and toss them into a small stockpot with about 1 tablespoon of oil
Sautee the shrimp shells until they change color
Pour in two cans of beer (you decide what kind)
Add in 1 small onion, medium dice
4 cloves crushed garlic
About 1/2c. Old Bay Seasoning
3 bay leaves
2 cups of cold water
Bring all of this to a good rolling boil to infuse the cooking liquid with the all of the seasonings.
Once this comes to a boil dump in your shrimp, stir, bring to a boil and wait for the shrimp to become slightly firm and turn white.
DO NOT REMOVE THE SHRIMP!
Remove from the heat, stir several times as the shrimp will continue to cook a touch more. Add in about 3 cups of ice and allow the shrimp to cool in the flavored liquid.
If you have ever allowed a piece of meat to rest to allow the juices to be drawn back into the meat; this is the same principle.
If you dump off the flavored liquid and run cold water over the shrimp, it will taste like cold water!
Once the shrimp have cooled, about 15 minutes, remove the shrimp from the cooking liquid and refrigerate. I typically keep about 2 cups of the strained liquid in the container with the shrimp so more absorbs and so they stay moist.
I promise you this will be the best shrimp cocktail you have ever had!