“Cocktail” Shrimp with Spicy Mint-Avocado Dipping Sauce

July  3, 2012
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4 as a main dish or 6 as a starter
Author Notes

During the avocado contest, I thought it might be fun and interesting to marinate shrimp in a true cocktail recipe. I knew I wanted to use gin, grapefruit and mint and was sure there must be a cocktail with those ingredients. As it turns out, it is close to a Bailey cocktail, from Gerald Murphy, a socialite friend of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Picasso among others. Unfortunately, I missed the posting deadline. So here I am. The “cocktail” ingredients make the shrimp tender and flavorful while the spicy mint-avocado dipping sauce serves a dual purpose. While it cools the hot-off-the-grill shrimp down, it also adds a kick of heat from the jalapeño. —gingerroot

What You'll Need
  • For the Dipping Sauce
  • 8 ounces avocado, scooped out of large avocado with a spoon (a little more than a cup of fruit)
  • 4 ounces Japanese cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and sliced (about 1 cup of cucumber)
  • 1/2 - 1 jalapeño pepper, stem end trimmed, rough chopped
  • 1/3 c Greek yogurt mixed with 2 T water
  • 2 T lime juice
  • ½ t kosher salt plus more to taste
  • ½ cup mint, packed
  • For the “Cocktail” shrimp
  • 2 lb 21/25 shrimp with shells, deveined
  • 2 t cumin
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • ½ cup gin
  • ½ cup grapefruit juice
  • 1/3 cup mint leaves, torn
  1. For the Dipping Sauce
  2. Combine ingredients, starting with 1/2 of a jalapeño (whether you leave or remove seeds is up to your heat tolerance) in a blender and puree until smooth. Taste for salt and heat and adjust, adding more jalapeño if needed. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap (pressing down so plastic is touching the surface of the mixture) and refrigerate until needed.
  1. For the “Cocktail” shrimp
  2. Toss shrimp with cumin and salt in a medium bowl. Add gin, grapefruit juice and mint. Stir to combine. Transfer to an airtight container with a lid and marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, shaking occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile prepare your grill.
  4. After 20 minutes of marinating, thread shrimp tail through neck on skewers. Grill 3-4 minutes, turning skewers once, until shells are pink and shrimp are opaque.
  5. Serve with generous amounts of chilled dipping sauce. Enjoy.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • fiveandspice
  • Holly Zajac
    Holly Zajac
  • hardlikearmour
  • gingerroot

Recipe by: gingerroot

My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love. Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.

6 Reviews

fiveandspice July 10, 2014
Yum! And I want to just drink that cocktail too! :)
gingerroot July 11, 2014
Thanks, Em!!
Holly Z. October 12, 2012
Wow that sauce was a bit intense. Next time I will cut down on the heat and add a bit more avocado.
gingerroot October 12, 2012
Hi Holly! Thanks for your feedback. Even though I like a good kick of heat I guess I should know better than to start with a whole jalapeno since the individual heat of the same type of chile varies. I'd love to hear your thoughts if you make it again with your adjustments.
hardlikearmour July 3, 2012
Yum! Love this spin on shrimp "cocktail". The dipping sauce sounds especially delicious.
gingerroot July 4, 2012
Thanks, hla! If you added a little water to thin it out, the sauce would make a nice cold summer soup.