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In the world of (Christmas) starters, the shrimp cocktail is an undeniable classic. This culinary hero, with its rich history and simple elegance, holds a special place in the hearts of many gourmets. In this blog post we delve into the world of the shrimp cocktail, a traditional Dutch dish that always creates a cozy and festive atmosphere at your table.

The heyday of the shrimp cocktail

The shrimp cocktail had its heyday mainly in the 1960s and 1970s. During this period it was a symbol of elegance and luxury in Dutch food culture. The dish was often served during special occasions, such as festive dinners and in fancy restaurants. The popularity of the shrimp cocktail reflected the growing interest in refined and international cuisines in the Netherlands.

Recipe for a classic shrimp cocktail

Servings: 4 starters


  • 500 grams (Dutch) peeled and cooked shrimp
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • a dash of whiskey or cognac
  • some drops of tabasco sauce
  • lemon juice to taste
  • fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce
  • slices of lemon and some chives for garnish


  1. Mix the mayonnaise, ketchup, whisky/cognac, Tabasco, lemon juice in a bowl to make a sauce.
  2. Wash the iceberg lettuce and tear the leaves into pieces. Divide the lettuce among the glasses or coupes in which you serve the cocktail.
  3. Divide the shrimp over the lettuce.
  4. Spoon the cocktail sauce over the shrimp.
  5. Garnish with a little chopped chives and a slice of lemon at the edge of the glass.
  6. Serve the shrimp cocktail immediately.

Variety and creativity

Although the classic shrimp cocktail is already a treat, you can be creative with ingredients. For example, experiment with different types of shrimp (as in the photo, if you can't find Dutch shrimp...), sauces or add other freshly chopped herbs for a fresh twist.

The shrimp cocktail is more than an appetizer; it's a piece of culinary history!

Sofia's Brocante

This blog post was created by Happlify Crew member Sofia's Brocante , where you can currently go all out on retro Christmas decorations and that's how we also came up with retro Christmas dishes such as the shrimp cocktail.

💬 Tell me, what is your feel-good Christmas dish?

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