Vodka Oyster Shooters

Oyster Shooters on Ice

Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
79 Calories
1g Fat
4g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 79
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 25mg 8%
Sodium 102mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 91mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When it comes to oysters, people seem to either love them or hate them—and those who dislike this shellfish are normally turned off by the texture. But when an oyster is layered with cocktail sauce and vodka, and then drunk like a shot, even the naysayers may be swayed.

Oysters are an especially lavish appetizer for any seafood lover, and these oyster shooters with vodka make for a fun start to a meal or party. Enjoy them with cocktails, other delicious appetizers, or on their own. Since they have long been considered an aphrodisiac, consider serving as a simple and playful appetizer for a romantic meal for two. This recipe is for one shooter but can easily be increased.


  • 1 raw oyster

  • 1 teaspoon cocktail sauce, store-bought or homemade

  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) vodka, top-shelf recommended

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add the oyster to a shot glass and top with the cocktail sauce and vodka.

  3. Shoot and enjoy.


  • Oysters can be challenging to shuck and require a special knife, so it is best to buy them from the fish market open and on the half-shell.
  • If making these shooters ahead of time, place the shot glasses on a bed of ice.
  • For a nice presentation, garnish each shot with a fresh lemon wedge.
  • If you are making these for a party but don't have enough shot glasses, set out the leftover ingredients, with the oysters in their shells on ice, so guests can assemble their own shooters once they've enjoyed their first one.

How Do You Eat an Oyster Shooter?

This combination of seafood, cocktail sauce, and liquor should be enjoyed in the same way you'd drink a shot—straight down the throat. Do not chew the oyster; it should just slide right down along with the other ingredients.

Recipe Variations

  • For a little extra kick, add more horseradish to your cocktail sauce or even a dash of your favorite hot sauce.
  • For a more mild flavor, substitute the cocktail sauce with tomato juice. 
  • Instead of cocktail sauce, you can use bloody Mary mix, offering a fun twist on the favorite brunch cocktail.

Who Invented the Oyster Shooter?

A story that has stood the test of time is that this shot was created by a San Francisco miner in the 1860s. The man entered a restaurant and asked for a platter of raw oysters, a selection of condiments that essentially make up cocktail sauce, and a glass of whiskey. After drinking the whiskey, he placed an oyster in the shot glass, topped it with ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and horseradish, and then drank it like a shot. The next day, the restaurant promoted its new "oyster cocktail."