Team Italy mix it up for narrow win

19:42, Mar 20 2011
Danielle Dalla Pola, Alexander Frezzai and Luca Sai
DRINK TO THAT: Team Italy Danielle Dalla Pola, Alexander Frezzai and Luca Sai celebrate winning the 42 Below cocktail world cup.

The Italians won the 42 Below cocktail world cup during the carnival-themed finale at the weekend.

Team Italy bartenders Alexander Frezzai, Luca Sai and Danielle Dalla Pola were trailing the other entrants during the week-long competition.

But their finale cocktail, a mix of pineapple, lavender vodka, limoncello, raspberry liqueur and Fernet Branca won the judges' favour.

 Ashley Hobbs and Jordan Monroe
DASH OF GLAMOUR: Playboy playmates Ashley Hobbs and Jordan Monroe at the 42 Below carnival-themed finale.

Italy won by less than half a point, with the United States in second and Scotland's team in third place.

Judge Salvatore Calabrese said the Italian infusion was a perfectly illustrated example of bartending.

Mr Frezzai said the win was unexpected.

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"All week we had been behind in the competition, we never thought we would win so we decided we would just have a great party."

Judge David Wondrich, the New York-based drinks correspondent for Esquire magazine, said the competition was difficult to call – and he was "blown away" by Queenstown.

The 42 Below world cup party spent five days in the Southern Lakes with an entourage of bartenders and glamorous guests, including Playboy playmates Ashley Hobbs and Jordan Monroe.

Hobbs, 21, Miss December last year and Monroe, 24, Miss October 2006, were filing video, online reports and blogging for Hugh Hefner's globally published magazine and adult entertainment firm. john.edens@stl.co.nz

The Southland Times