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Mixed up: Minnesota woman a finalist in international cocktail competition

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A Minnesota woman is among five finalists in an international cocktail-making competition hosted by British TV chef Jamie Oliver.

Mixologists from around the world submitted videos of themselves presenting their specialty drinks as part of Oliver's cocktail star competition for his recently launched YouTube channel, Drinks Tube.

From there, a panel made up of drink experts selected 10 semifinalists, who then had to create a new cocktail using two Bacardi products, according to the Spirits Business.

Oliver announced the five finalists Wednesday. Among them: contestants from Thailand, Bolivia, Australia and Greece. Plus the lone competitor from the United States – Stephany Wieland, who is originally from St. Paul but has lived in Stillwater for over a decade, she told the Stillwater Current.

The last few months have been a whirlwind for Wieland. About six months ago, she launched her own YouTube channel, "Making it with Stephany," where she shoots videos on how to customize your life with do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. This summer, her YouTube channel was nominated for two Emmy Awards – Best Host and Best Lifestyle Series – and a few weeks later her peachy piña colada was named a finalist for Oliver's cocktail star competition.

The mother of two has always been a DIY-er, according to her website, and has dabbled in an array of careers, including being a 911 dispatcher, a professional photographer, a phone operator, a self-taught seamstress and a head cook at an Italian restaurant.

Wieland told BringMeTheNews she's not a bartender, but enjoys coming up with new recipes and experimenting. She accidentally came across Oliver's contest on YouTube on the last day to enter the competition – she already had a video of her (alcoholic) Kiddie Cocktail on her YouTube channel and submitted it, which got her to the semifinals.

As for becoming a finalist, she told BringMeTheNews she really likes making food, drinks and things and would love to continue shooting fun videos. She added, "It was also awesome to hear Jamie Oliver say that I was lovely on video. I want that to be my new voicemail message."

Now, she's hoping to win the competition and get an all-expenses-paid trip to London where the winner will make cocktail videos that'll be featured on Drinks Tube, among other prizes.

The public has until Oct. 8 to vote for their favorite on the Drinks Tube website. Winners will be announced Oct. 15.

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