Vuelve a la Vida – A “Reviving” Seafood Cocktail for Any Season

“Vuelve a la vida” , translated from Spanish as “back to life”, or “reviving”, is a seafood cocktail, so flavourful and loaded with nutrients, that promises to energize any tired (or hung over) eater with a happy disposition.  The ingredients of this dish are varied in colour and texture, as well, and the best way to feature them is by serving in glass vessels. Its place of origin is somewhat litigious, since it may be found not only at restaurants in the Mexican states of Campeche and Veracruz, where the cocktail is presented in thick, large goblets,  but also as far South as the streets of Venezuela, sold in jars for portability.  However, The recipe I am sharing in this post, comes indisputably from Veracruz, where locals add a secret ingredient to their sauce (hint: it’s orange and bubbly).  

Reviving Seafood Cocktail – Coctel Vuelve a la Vida

Printable directions: How to Clean and Cook Octopus

Printable recipe: Reviving Seafood Cocktail – Coctel Vuelve a la Vida

Ingredients (for one portion)

A variety of seafood, such as:
9-10 medium shrimp; cooked and peeled
½ cup
octopus; cooked and sliced (see directions above); one tentacle tip saved for garnish
1/3 cup baby clams; cooked (out of the shell, at home, or from can)
Other choices: fresh oysters, crab meat, cooked squid

1 small tomato; washed, stem spot removed and chopped
2 tbsp red onion; peeled and chopped
2 tbsp cilantro; washed and chopped, a few leaves saved for garnish
1 serrano pepper; washed, stem removed, and sliced finely
3-4 slices avocado; washed, peeled, and sliced just before serving
¼ cup liquid from cooking seafood
2-3 tbsp ketchup
1 lime; washed, and halved
¼ cup orange soda, such as Orange Crush™
Salt and pepper, to taste
Soda crackers

For my cocktail, I had canned baby clams (I saved the juice for the sauce); vegan shrimp (since I am allergic to crustaceans), and cooked octopus tentacles:

Reserve 2 shrimp whole for garnish, then slice the rest, and mix with the rest of the seafood in a thick glass goblet (see bottom of the post), or as in my case, in a glass serving bowl (photo below, left).  Layer tomatoes, onions, cilantro and serrano peppers on top (photo below, right):

In a cup mix reserved liquid from cooking seafood, ketchup and the juice of half the lime, then pour in orange soda (photo below, left); season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Just before serving, arrange avocado slices on top of the veggies, to one side of the glass container, and fill with sauce (photo below, right):

Garnish with reserved octopus tentacle tip, whole shrimp and cilantro leaves.  Serve with the other half of the lime and soda crackers on the side:

A little of everything on a cracker provides a bite-sized explosion of colours, textures, and flavours, sure to bring anyone “back to life”:

This cocktail may serve as a meal at lunch time during the summer months, or as a very generous first course on a fancy dinner party menu, perfect for this Holiday season.   


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I am joining Fiesta Friday #464 with Angie @ Fiesta Friday.


I am sharing my recipe at What’s for Dinner? Sunday Link-Up #399 with Helen @ The Lazy Gastronome

5 thoughts on “Vuelve a la Vida – A “Reviving” Seafood Cocktail for Any Season

  1. I was surprised by the orange soda as an ingredient; how about substituting it with freshly squeezed orange juice? I’m excited because in February we will be going to Mexico for the first time (a tour of Yucatán). I can’t wait to try Mexican food on Mexico for the first time! We will be going to Campeche as well, so I may be able to try this cocktail there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Orange juice, a hint of sugar and a pinch of baking soda might do, but I think at this point is more the fun of using a different ingredient, unique to Veracruz. In Campeche, vuelve a la vida is prepared with vinegar, olive oil, Manzano chile, and a different presentation; let me know if you get to try it. The Yucatan peninsula is sooo beautiful and rich in culture, and the food is far removed from stereotypical Mexican fare, I am sure you will find it very interesting .

      Liked by 1 person

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