TikTok Has Discovered The Most Festive Way To Serve Shrimp Cocktail

With a few weeks left until Christmas, hosts are planning their menus to entertain family and friends throughout the season. Whether you are setting up a buffet or just need a showstopping appetizer, TikTok has rediscovered the most festive way to serve shrimp cocktail.


Replying to @Gwyneth • グウェネス shrimp tree tutorial 🦐🎄🎁

♬ original sound – wishbonekitchen

Seen in the 70s, TikToker wishbonekitchen created a shrimp cocktail tree inspired by her aunt, who makes this adorable appetizer each Christmas. To make one, purchase a cone-shaped styrofoam form from a craft store. To prevent it from tipping over, ensure it has at least a five-inch base or secure it to something heavier — like a plate.

Use curly kale to cover the surface, securing the leaves with toothpicks. Alternatively, another hearty green like curly endive or curly parsley can be used as foliage. Place peeled, deveined, cooked shrimp around the tree using decorative toothpicks. They can be placed randomly or spiraled around the tree for a more formal presentation. Spanish olives and cherry tomatoes can be added like ornaments. 

Since the top will be decorated with a ribbon, it's best to start at the bottom and work your way up. Secure a festive ribbon on the top of the tree and keep everything cold until ready to serve. Keep in mind that the Federal Department of Agriculture advises against leaving seafood at room temperature for more than two hours since bacteria rapidly grow in the "danger zone" (temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit). Serve the shrimp tree with a classic cocktail sauce.

Variations on our festive shrimp tree

Borrow this concept to turn most appetizers vertical for an impressive display. Instead of creating a charcuterie board this year, fasten cheese, meat, and pickled veggies to a tree. Start with the more oversized items: Cube semi-hard varieties of cheese like cheddar or gouda. Attach thinly sliced Genoa salami, folded into quarters, or slice rounds of pepperoni or soppressata. When most spaces are filled in, use black and green olives, pepperoncini, and other pickled veg to finish the tree. Secure a star-shaped piece of cheese to the top for extra points.

For a striped candy cane-esque appetizer, use a tube-shaped form to hold cherry or grape tomatoes and small fresh mozzarella, boccacini. If you don't want a base of green, cover the form in plastic wrap before attaching the toothpicks. Since the food is more delicate with this tree, place one end of the toothpick in the tree, then add the food. Spiral the form, alternating diagonal rows of red tomatoes and white mozzarella. Fill in any gaps with fresh basil. 

Don't forget about dessert. Similar to the French croquembouche, cover a cone-shaped form with donut holes or mini creme puffs that everyone will adore. Chocolate-dipped marshmallows decorated with sprinkles, nuts, and crushed cookies will quickly fill up a large tree. Or create a fresher dessert using fruit. Layer berries, creating a rainbow display using strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Add some balled melon or create a separate tree using watermelon, honeydew, and canteloupe.