Bloody Mary Poached Shrimp

Shrimp is a must at any Southern gathering, and this poached recipe is definitely a winner.

Bloody Mary Poached Shrimp

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

Active Time:
40 mins
Refrigerate Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
8 hrs 40 mins

From tailgates to funerals, these Bloody Mary-Poached Shrimp are the ultimate buffet snack. While it is always nice to serve up a classic, putting a twist on it won't scare anyone away from trying something new.

Similar to your standard pickled shrimp, the addition of tomato and vodka will excite any shrimp lover attending your gathering. Don't be afraid of the vodka in the marinade; it really takes the recipe to the next level.

A bottle of Bloody Mary mix acts as the cooking liquid in this one-of-a-kind recipe. After a quick poach in the zingy, tomato-based liquid, we add in cocktail sauce, vodka, lemon juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire, celery seeds, and pepper, infusing even more flavor into the shrimp as they marinate. The result is a flavor-packed bowl of shrimp that is really the gift that keeps on giving. Running low on the Bloody Mary mix? If you don't have enough to marinate and poach the shrimp, our Test Kitchen pros say to save it for the marinade. You can poach the shrimp in water and still get flavor from the marinade.

Now that you've got the poached shrimp on the menu, the only decision is what garnishes to stock at the Bloody Mary bar.


  • 1 (32-oz.) bottle Bloody Mary mix, divided

  • 2 ½ pounds medium peeled, deveined raw shrimp, tails optional

  • 4 cups ice

  • ½ cup cocktail sauce

  • cup (2⅔ oz.) vodka

  • cup olive oil

  • cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery (from about 2 celery stalks)

  • 1 cup thinly vertically sliced sweet onion (from 1 small onion) 

  • Garnishes: celery leaves, lemon slices, lime slices, pickled okra, dilly beans, and/or pitted green olives


  1. Cook shrimp:

    Place 1 cup water and 3 cups of the Bloody Mary mix in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over high. Remove from heat. Add shrimp; cover and let stand until shrimp are barely opaque in centers, about 8 minutes. Immediately stir ice into shrimp mixture to stop cooking; let stand until shrimp are cool, about 5 minutes. Drain shrimp, and pat dry.

  2. Make marinade:

    Stir together cocktail sauce, vodka, oil, lemon juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire, celery seeds, pepper, and remaining 1 cup Bloody Mary mix in a large bowl or a large heavy-duty ziplock plastic freezer bag.

  3. Chill shrimp:

    Stir shrimp, sliced celery, and onion into cocktail sauce mixture. Cover (or seal bag), and place in refrigerator to marinate at least 8 hours or, preferably, up to 24 hours.

  4. Serve:

    Transfer shrimp mixture to a large serving bowl. Top with desired garnishes, and serve immediately. (The dish can be made in advance. Store, covered, in refrigerator up to 3 days.)

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