Serves 2 very hungry shrimp-lovers or 4 normal folks
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, or more to taste
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, or to taste
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Dash Tabasco sauce, or to taste
SAUCE: Prepare the sauce first, 2-3 hours before serving if possible. In a medium bowl, combine all sauce ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust the horseradish, Old Bay and Tabasco if necessary. Cover and chill until ready to serve. (If one or more diners are sensitive to "heat" in foods, prepare two separate bowls of sauce lessening the amount of horseradish and Tabasco in one of the bowls.)
SHRIMP: Rinse shrimp under cold running tap water and set aside. Put water, salt bay leaves, and about 2-3 tablespoons of the Old Bay into the bottom of a large steamer pot and bring to a rolling boil. Put only enough shrimp that will fit easily into the small steamer basket (about 1-2 pounds). Place the steam basket into the kettle, sprinkle about 2 tablespoons (more or less, to taste) of Old Bay Seasoning over the shrimp, and pour some of the beer over all. Cover tightly and steam 8-10 minutes (depending on the size of the shrimp) or until shrimp have turned pink. DO NOT OVERCOOK. The shrimp should feel just barely firm to the touch.
Serve the first batch immediately, accompanied by small bowls of the sauce; repeat cooking process until all shrimp have been cooked (then the cook can sit down to eat).
LEFTOVERS: If there are leftover shrimp and sauce after dinner, sit and peel the leftover shrimp and place them into the leftover sauce. Cover and chill, so there will be shrimp cocktail the next day.