“If you’re not gonna pull that trigger immediately, mind if I have a cigarette?” —Joe Mannix, from the episode, “To the Swiftest Death”
Assignment: Pair a cocktail and a cigar with a fictional PI
Subject: Joe Mannix
Joe Mannix paved the way for all of the TV private eyes we grew up with. He was tough, bull-headed, good-looking, and had a flair for cool cars and fantastic sports coats. We can see traces of Mannix in Rockford (think bright plaid and patterned sports jackets). Magnum took the cool car theme to a whole new level, but it was Mannix who first pulled surveillance in a hey-look-at-me-stand-out-in-a-crowd car.
A Korean War veteran, Mannix knew how to maintain a level head. Whether he was careening down a dirt road in a snazzy convertible or engaged in gunplay with mobsters in ill-fitting, wide-collared, poly-blend suits, Mannix was solid. He’d readily throw a punch, rely on a hunch, and more often than not eschew technology and gadgets for a good old confrontation.
This rough-and-tumble Armenian-American detective was, in short, what every woman in the early seventies wanted, needed. And yet, despite the passel of hot polyester-clad babes that strolled in and out of his life, Mannix, it seemed, was a bachelor’s bachelor, doomed to fly solo. Sharing his most intimate moments with his trusty and (as the website thrillingdetective.com puts it) “oft-kidnapped” secretary Peggy.
Mannix put a modern face on the private eye of the postwar-noir era, bringing the fictional detective into the seventies with a clear nod to the genre. Mike Connors, the actor who brought Mannix to life, once said that somewhere out there “Mannix is still working. There was a decency and a dignity about the man.”
Assignment: The Cigar
Operative: Scott Partridge — general manager, Uptown’s Smoke Shop in Nashville, TN
Pairing: After giving the matter a lot of thought, our cigar expert Scott Partridge said, “I would pair him up with a CAO GOLD VINTAGE.”
Partridge, general manager of Uptown’s Smoke Shop in Green Hills, argues that the CAO Gold Vintage is possibly one of the best “smooth, medium-bodied cigars” on the market. Like Mannix, the Gold Vintage is dressed to attract, but built tough. Partridge describes the Gold Vintage as having “a silky wrapper that entices with a leathery pre-light nose. Each pull delivers layers of buttery notes backed by a definitive spicy core, attributed to the Habano seed-filler tobaccos from Honduras and Nicaragua.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m on my way over to Uptown’s to pick up my CAO Gold Vintage this afternoon. Maybe, we’ll run into each other. Or maybe I’ll see you, and you’ll never even know I was in the room.
Josh Habiger has earned his chef chops in venerable eateries around the world. Prior to his role in launching The Patterson House, a craft-cocktail speakeasy in Nashville, he worked the kitchen at The Fat Duck in London, cooked at Craft in New York, and refined his skills in molecular gastronomy at Alinea in Chicago.
More recently, he created The Catbird Seat, a high-concept tasting-menu restaurant in Nashville that quickly became a culinary sensation, and became a partner in a restaurant group with eateries all over town. He’s a chef and a scholar, and he knows his way around a bar.
He describes the Rusty Nail as “a simple drink containing a blended scotch that is sweetened with just a touch of Drambuie.” Habiger goes on to say that, “Mannix is known for his appreciation of drinking scotch neat, but this little elixir will round out the corners of the whisky and demonstrate the beauty of balance in a cocktail.” Nicely said.
Habiger’s Recipe: Mix 2 oz of your favorite blended scotch with 1/2 oz of Drambuie in a large mixing glass. Stir for about 20 seconds to get the drink cold, then pour into a chilled glass. If you prefer it on the rocks, just build the drink in the glass. Either way, garnish it with a lemon twist and enjoy it while reading your favorite spy novel.
If you find yourself at The Patterson House sometime in the next two weeks, ask for a Rusty Nail. Tell the bartender that Pursuit Magazine sent you.