Books

Stuck doing chores? There’s a cocktail for that

Cocktails are paired by chores in “Drinks for Mundane Tasks: 70 Cocktail Recipes for Everyday Chores” by David Vienna.
Cocktails are paired by chores in “Drinks for Mundane Tasks: 70 Cocktail Recipes for Everyday Chores” by David Vienna. Kansas City Star/TNS

Are boring chores making your life hell?

David Vienna knows how to turn a dreaded duty into a pleasurable pastime: Just add alcohol.

“Having a drink in your hand while you’re vacuuming makes it much better,” he said with a chuckle.

Whether you’re paying bills, pulling weeds or playing catch with the family dog, Vienna’s playful new book, “Drinks for Mundane Tasks: 70 Cocktail Recipes for Everyday Chores” seeks to make ordinary errands a little more bearable.

“There’s probably somebody out there who enjoys cleaning the house or doing taxes,” Vienna joked, but he has his doubts. “They’re like unicorns. … People claim to have seen them but I’ve never seen any evidence.”

A screenwriter, playwright and journalist who once worked for The Tribune and New Times, Vienna, who divides his time between Pismo Beach and Valencia, chronicles his experiences as stay-at-home dad to 8-year-old twin boys Wyatt and Boone on his blog, The Daddy Complex.

His latest book has the same cheeky sense of humor as his 2015 guide for frazzled moms and dads, “Calm the F*ck Down: The Only Parenting Technique You’ll Ever Need.”

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Published in June by Knock Knock, “Drinks for Mundane Tasks” teaches readers how to make refreshing beverages featuring easy-to-find ingredients — everything from amaretto to watermelon schnapps. Recipes are paired with fun illustrations by Fausto Montanari.

Mowing the lawn? Try a creamy Grass Chopper. Emptying the litter box? Dull your senses and delight your palate with a powerful Poo-Digger.

Vienna’s pocket-sized guide even has options for family-oriented chores, such as calling your mother (The Subtle Insult) or watching an insipid children’s show with your kids (Barney’s Revenge).

“The research was a blast,” Vienna said with a laugh. A self-professed “bourbon man,” he relied on his wife, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment creative director Larissa Collins, as “my go-to vodka expert.”

One of his favorite discoveries was the Sazertax, a tax-season variation on a classic Sazerac featuring rye, absinthe, bitters and honey. He recommends sipping that drink while digging through receipts and scrolling through spreadsheets.

Vienna also found a fresh appreciation for bloody marys such as This Sucks, a spicy, tequila-based libation perfect for sipping while vacuuming. “They’re kinda like omelets, where you can tailor them to your own taste,” the author said.

According to Vienna, you don’t have to be a bartender to tackle the recipes in “Drinks for Mundane Tasks.” They’re designed with the amateur mixologist in mind.

“This isn’t a book for cocktail snobs. It’s a book for a mom who’s figuring out what’s for dinner, or the dad who’s out there pulling weeds,” Vienna explained. (He recommends a tropical Weed Killer for the latter task.)

“Cocktails make everything better,” he said.

‘Drinks for Mundane Tasks: 70 Cocktail Recipes for Everyday Chores’

By David Vienna

Knock Knock

$14

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