Best Homemade Cocktail Sauce Recipe

This is the best homemade cocktail sauce recipe you will ever try. It is the perfect blend of horseradish, garlic, and kick that will keep your family coming back for more. It’s great on steamed clams, steamed or boiled shrimp, oysters, hamburgers, and even grilled chicken! This sauce has been a family favorite for decades.

Legend has it that the history of cocktail sauce dates back to the 1800s when it was created by an Englishman living in New Orleans. He was trying to figure out how he could get his family to eat more seafood at dinner time since they were landlocked there for so long during winter months (they lived where the Mississippi River meets Lake Pontchartrain).

While I can’t totally verify that story, here’s what I do know… It’s awesome!

I love this sauce because it’s so versatile—anyone can make it and everyone loves it. It’s also really easy to make and doesn’t take long at all, so you can whip up a batch before dinner is ready and have everything ready at once without having to do any extra work after dinner is done.

Main Ingredients Needed

minced garlic
Minced garlic
homemade cocktail sauce with shrimp bowl

Quick Cocktail Sauce Recipe

Serving Size:
1/4 cup
5 minutes


  • 1/2 cup prepared ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2-3 dashes of hot sauce, for an extra kick


  1. Mix the ketchup, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic in a small bowl.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of horseradish.
  3. Stir in a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.


What is Cocktail Sauce?

It’s a tangy blend typically made with ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and other seasonings.

Can I adjust the spiciness of this sauce?

Absolutely! The heat in cocktail sauce mainly comes from the horseradish. Feel free to adjust the amount of horseradish to suit your taste. If you like it spicier, add more; for a milder sauce, reduce the quantity.

How long can I store homemade cocktail sauce?

It can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks. If it separates, just give it a good stir before serving.

What else can I serve with cocktail sauce besides shrimp?

Cocktail sauce is versatile and goes well with many types of seafood, including oysters, clams, crab cakes, and fish sticks. It can also be used as a tangy dip for fries or vegetable sticks.

Can I use something else instead of ketchup?

Ketchup is a classic base for cocktail sauce because of its sweet and tangy flavor. However, if you prefer, you could use chili sauce or a mixture of tomato paste and vinegar for a different flavor profile.

Can I freeze the sauce?

Freezing is not recommended as it will the texture of the sauce. However, since it keeps well in the fridge, you can make it in advance and always have it ready for your seafood feasts.

I don’t have horseradish, can I substitute it with something else?

Horseradish gives the cocktail sauce its distinctive kick. If you don’t have it, you could substitute with a hot sauce or a bit of wasabi, but the flavor will be different.

2 thoughts on “Best Homemade Cocktail Sauce Recipe”

Leave a Comment