“Cocktail” Shrimp with Spicy Mint-Avocado Dipping Sauce

July 3, 2012

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. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123698213720424525.html 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

Serves: 4 as a main dish or 6 as a starter


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
In This Recipe


For the Dipping Sauce

  1. 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.

For the “Cocktail” shrimp

  1. 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.
  2. Meanwhile prepare your grill.
  3. 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.
  4. Serve with generous amounts of chilled dipping sauce. Enjoy.

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Sauce|Cumin|Gin|Grapefruit|Mint|Seafood|Shrimp|Grill/Barbecue|Summer|Gluten-Free|Appetizer|Hors D'Oeuvre