They arrive, slimy and bumpy, arranged on a bed of crushed ice, potentially adorned by seaweed and little ramekins of heaven-knows-what (it’s mignonette and cocktail sauce; chill out). You peer at them, cringe, and decline. If you don’t like raw oysters, nothing but knocking back a few dozen until you’re singing the rest of the world’s songs of praise will change that.
Those who have learned to relish the jiggly saline delights of the raw oyster, however, may be actively seeking their next bivalve-related thrill. The shooter is just that, a freshly shucked oyster with its juices or “liquor” in an ice-cold shot of vodka with a squeeze of lemon and as much hot sauce as your heart (burn) desires. Some variations involve tomato juice or beer, and in Japanese restaurants your oyster swims in tasty layers of sake, ponzu sauce and sliced scallions topped with fish roe and a raw quail egg.
Oyster (or vodka) purists might naysay the very establishment of the shooter. Would you, for instance, cut off a piece of ribeye, stick it in your glass of wine and call it a steak shooter?
What’s your favorite way to enjoy oysters? Tell us in the comments below.