Marie Rose Sauce (English Cocktail Sauce)

Marie Rose is a classic cocktail sauce used in England. It’s creamy and full of flavor, and it’s a great way to add a twist to your shrimp cocktail!

In England you will often see something called prawn cocktail on appetizer menus. Prawn cocktail is similar to the North American shrimp cocktail in that it involves crustaceans of the shrimp variety (potentially differently sized but the same idea) and a sauce to dip them in. The sauce used in the UK is sometimes called cocktail sauce or seafood sauce or Marie Rose sauce. However, it is different from what we call cocktail sauce in North America.

White dish with Marie Rose cocktail sauce and spoon, glass bowl of shrimp in the background.

Here’s A Video Showing How To Make Marie Rose Sauce, And English Shrimp Cocktail

North American cocktail sauce is made from ketchup and horseradish sauce with a few other ingredients optionally added in like Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and hot sauce. It’s typically very dark red. Here’s my favorite cocktail sauce recipe of this type.

English cocktail sauce, Marie rose sauce, is a very pale pink. It has mayonnaise as the base instead of ketchup, although there is a touch of ketchup in there. The other ingredients are similar to American cocktail sauce and include Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice and sometimes something spicy like cayenne or hot sauce. Even though some of the ingredients are the same, the flavors are very different. This is mostly because the British version is very creamy and doesn’t have the sweetness of all that ketchup.

Tomorrow I’ll show you how to make a British prawn cocktail using Marie Rose sauce. Today, I’ve got the sauce recipe for you. Definitely try this twist on your cocktail sauce some day soon. Enjoy!

Christine :)

Marie Rose Sauce

Marie Rose Sauce (English Cocktail Sauce) Recipe

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Sauce
  • Cuisine: English


Marie Rose is the classic cocktail sauce used in England. It’s creamy and full of flavor, and it’s a great way to add a twist to your shrimp cocktail. The main ingredients are the mayonnaise and ketchup with a pinch of salt. After that, add the other ingredients if you have them and if you want to go the extra distance.


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. ketchup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. hot sauce, like Tabasco (optional)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, ketchup and salt. Taste.
  2. Add any or all of the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and cayenne pepper. Stir.
Marie Rose Sauce (English Cocktail Sauce)

18 responses to “Marie Rose Sauce (English Cocktail Sauce)”

  1. Roy kimber says:

    I’m British this recipe very nice but I put English mustard in place of the paprika and cayenne 

  2. RoboJ1M says:

    We also make sandwiches with this.
    Mix the Marie rose with a bag of cocktail (small) prawns and put it in a buttered soft roll with lots of iceberg lettuce and some black pepper.

    Also goes well in a small crusty baguette although it’s a bit messier to eat.

    Or just sandwich bread.

    Try to avoid making it too breast, medium cut or thin baguette or Robert rolls.

    Other salads work well toov on top of the lettuce:
    Spring onion

    If you use more salads, add a pinch of salt to the salad while assembling.

  3. Rebekah Kalinowski says:

    I’ve never heard of Marie Rose sauce before, but Puerto Ricans have something similar called MayoKetchup!

  4. Calvin says:

    Not bad, sounds like a good unique sauce to try.

  5. Debbie Yoder says:

    Would go great with shrimp,Ill use the Worchestershire sace,thats my fav!

  6. Angelica says:

    I’ve never heard of this sauce before. Might have to surprise my British uncle when we visit them for Christmas. I’m supposed to bring an appetizer, would be fun to bring English shrimp cocktail!

  7. Deborah Waddell says:

    This is a sauce I’ve never heard of, I will have to make some to try before I can say if I feel it’s good or not.

  8. Judy Gregory says:

    I’ll stick to the American sauce but, this sounds great on a shrimp poor boy.

  9. Sarah L says:

    I’ve never seen this kind of sauce for shrimp. I’m not fond of mayonnaise so I think I’ll stick to my American cocktail sauce.

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