Zesty and tart, this Spicy Mixed Seafood Cocktail is a perfect start for any festive occasion! 

A combination of crabmeat, bay scallops and whole shrimp are nestled in a chunky vegetable laden sauce that begins with some Spicy V-8 juice.  Does that sound great or what?

bowl of spicy seafood cocktail



Spicy Mixed Seafood Cocktail is chunky, but on the saucy-side, and is therefore eaten with a fork.

I especially like to serve this appetizer,  all dolled up in a martini glass, and garnished with diced avocado and lemon.  It’s a stunning presentation that adds a little “wow” factor to any meal.

This recipe is featured as part of the Fairies of the Forest Twilight Soiree that celebrates the final days of summer.  As part of the buffet menu, I decided to display the seafood cocktail in a large serving vessel.  Guests could serve themselves in individual bowls set next to the full bowl. 


SPICY MIXED SEAFOOD COCKTAIL – Dress it up for a dinner party!

I like the idea of my guests trying a little of everything on the buffet.  Then they can go back to get more of spicy seafood cocktail in martini glasseswhatever struck their fancy.  That’s what’s so great about a buffet. The hostess gets to enjoy eating with her guests, and the guests are able to customize the meal to their tastes.  Win-Win!

Having said that, I also love to compose individual servings in creative ways.

My favorites being a martini glass,  fancy footed dessert bowls or even in shell halves.  

You can buy large clam shells in packages of six at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  Check out the recipe card for another pretty plating option.



As far as the seafood choices go, you can vary the ingredients according to your liking and availability.

If you see some fabulously fat mussels, scoop them up and toss them into the mix!  I generally like to limit the seafood in this recipe to shellfish, but chunks of seared medium-rare tuna steak would not be amiss either.

spicy seafood cocktail ingredientsThinly sliced fennel is the ingredient that ups the flavor ante in this recipe.  It offsets the spiciness, and takes this appetizer into a whole new dimension of seafood cocktails.

But, the fennel is kept in the background, allowing the bold flavors of the spicy V-8,  fresh garlic and hot peppers to shine.  

Whether you’re having guests over this Saturday, or you and the family are enjoying some time at the local park, including this wonderful seafood cocktail in your plans is a winning summertime combination. 



I don’t think you’re going to want to miss reading the master post for my Fairies in the Forest Twilight Soiree .

You’ll get the scoop on how I hosted an intimate dinner party to celebrate the last days of Summer last year.

Each time I publish a new “theme party”, I’ll be posting a group of related articles simultaneously.  They’ll include the gathering’s theme decor, menu, recipes, invitations, theme craft projects, guest favors, and everything else you’ll need to tap into your own creativity.

Each recipe and craft project come with their own printable “how-to” cards for your convenience.fairies in the forest twilight soiree take-home-favors

Here’s some of the fabulous things you’ll find in this theme party’s posts:

  • 3 Fairy themed printable invitation designs to send to your guests
  • Complete menu from appetizers & signature cocktail, a cold buffet dinner & 2 desserts
  • Moss photo framed menu project
  • Fairy Lite Blossom Chandelier project & shopping list printable planner
  • Fairy themed centerpiece and guest “take-home” favor projects


I’ve put together an incredible party to help you and your friends celebrate the the last waning days of Summer.  Go forth and celebrate!   

I like to think, that if you unleash your creativity and use my recipes and tips that you can host and enjoy your own Fairies in the Forest Twilight Soiree this summer too.  CLICK THE LINK TO GO TO MASTER ARTICLE


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spicy seafood cocktail in martini glasses

Spicy Mixed Seafood Cocktail

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes

Spicy, saucy and brimming with shellfish, this seafood cocktail is a super easy, yet impressive first course or appetizer at your next dinner party.


  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 4-6 radishes, trimmed, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup fennel, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, deveined and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • Up to 3 cups spicy V-8 juice (depends on how saucy you want it)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 8 oz. crab meat, drained (keep pieces as large as possible)
  • 16 oz. medium, shell-on shrimp
  • 6 oz. bay scallops
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 2 Tbs. Old Bay Seasoning (or your favorite brand of seafood boil)
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Avocado, peeled and cubed
  • Lemon Slices


  1. Combine the prepared vegetables, cilantro and garlic in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Combine 2 cups of the V-8 juice, the onion powder, salt, pepper and ketchup in a medium bowl. Mix well to combine.
  3. Add the V-8 mixture to the vegetables and mix well to combine.
  4. Fill a large pot half-way with water and set over medium-high heat. Add the salt and Old Bay Seasoning and stir well.
  5. When water comes to a low simmer, drop in the thawed shrimp, stirring well to separate. When the shrimp are just opague (completely white), scoop them out of the water with a spider or large slotted spoon.
  6. Set the cooked shrimp in a single layer on a dinner plate and let cool completely. When cooled, peel and hold in refrigerator.
  7. When the pot of water comes back to a simmer, add your frozen bay scallops and stir to help them start to separate.
  8. The scallops will be cooked in just 4-5 minutes of being dropped in the water, DO NOT wait until the water comes back to a simmer. When barely firm to the touch, drain into a collander, and store in refrigerator. .
  9. When all the seafood is cooled, fold in the shrimp and scallops until well combined. Decide whether you want to add any additional V-8 juice and stir well. (keep in mind you will still be adding the crabmeat to the mixture)
  10. Very gently, fold in the crabmeat until just combined. (SEE NOTES)
  11. Cover and chill at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours before serving.
  12. Taste, adjusting seasonings and adding hot sauce if desired.
  13. Peel, seed and cube 1 avocado and gently fold into chilled seafood cocktail or add to top as garnish.
  14. Serve in a martini glass garnished with fennel leaves and a twisted lemon slice.


You can customize the seafood you add to this recipe to your own taste. Don't limit yourself to shellfish either, you can add seared tuna steak or even some grilled salmon.

The vegie-tomato base can be made the day before you serve the seafood cocktail. Just add the seafood a few hours ahead of serving to help meld the flavors and fully chill the mixture. ,

Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 230Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 38mgSodium 2121mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 4gSugar 8gProtein 15g

Calorie and fat counts will vary according to the seafood used.

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