Depending on the number of people you have in attendance, purchase either fresh uncooked shrimp or precooked shrimp according to your preferance. If you choose the uncooked, take a small paring knife, and make a cut down the rounded side of the shrimp to devein it. Then placing the shrimp in boiling water, cook it till its pink in colour. Remove immediately, and immerse in cold, icy water. Do not overcook, as this will make your shrimp taste rubbery. For the cocktail sauce, you can either purchase the ready made kind, or make your own. I prefer to make my own, as the premade kind never seems to taste quite right. All that cocktail sauce is, is ketchup mixed with horseraddish. Just mix the horseraddish into the ketchup really well, and add it to taste.
To serve shrimp cocktail, use a round platter that is slightly smaller than a large bowl. (You want to fill the bowl with ice to keep the shrimp fresh, and cold.) Use GREEN LEAF lettuce to garnish the bottom of the platter, and arrange the shrimp on the platter around a small bowl in the center. The bowl will be used to serve the cocktail sauce in. You can also use, instead of a platter, 3 or more bowls, each being slightly smaller than the next. To use the bowls, fill 3/4 full of ice and sent the next bowl on top, and repeat. It will look similiar to a fountain when finished. Doing this with the bowls allows you to "hang" the shrimp on the side of the bowl. Skipping the very bottom bowl, but starting with the next one in. Then using the very top bowl for the cocktail sauce. This looks very nice, but requires a bit more work than using a platter would.