I am having eye surgery this morning. At this point, I’ve lost count but I think this is the sixth or seventh eye surgery I’ve had. No, it’s not laser eye surgery. It literally involved scalpels and diamond burrs in my eyeball.
I know, not very appetizing, which is why this is paired with a cocktail recipe, because you’ll want a tipple to blot out the memory of this story.
I originally had something called pterygium in both eyes, which is UV damage in the cornea that causes abnormal growth of the mucous membrane that covers the white part of your eye. This is quite rare in young people who don’t spend a lot of time outdoors, exposed to UV rays or in windy conditions.
My surgeon tells me it’s much more common amongst agricultural workers in South America. This is evidenced by any visit to her office when I’m bringing down the average age of patients in the waiting room by about 30 years.
Well, lucky me, I’m afflicted by this weird eye condition – so I have surgery. Great. The first surgeries are relatively painless but shortly after I have the tissue removed from my right eye, I start to notice what looks like regrowth.
I go back to the surgeon and it turns out that my good, youthful genes are working overtime and I have an aggressive healing response to the initial surgery which creates a whole new problem called a Salzmann Nodule. Today marks the third time I’ve had this Salzmann Nodule removed.
Unlike the pterygium removal, the recovery from this procedure is much more uncomfortable. At least my Halloween costume is sorted, I will be going as a pirate this year. An eyepatch is the hot accessory for post-operative care, I’ve got the bottle of rum lined up, all I need now is a parrot and a bespoke peg leg.
Given that I’ll be floating on painkillers for most of the day, I probably won’t be having this tasty sparkling cocktail but I would encourage you to mix one up for yourself and think of me and my eye. Also, a great little treat for yourself as you hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters.
I’ve named this drink the Quebec 75 because its not wildly dissimilar from the classic cocktail the French 75 – which I’ve made for the blog before. Instead of using simple syrup though, I’ve used Quebec maple syrup and built upon the usual lemon juice with a dash of Honeyed Apricot and Smoked Hickory bitters and a wheel of dried blood orange for garnish.
Shake all the ingredients (except the sparkling wine and dried blood orange wheel) with ice, then double strain into a coupe. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with blood orange wheel.