Diageo plans to "explode" the fledgling pre-prepared cocktail category with the launch of Smirnoff Perfect Pour Cocktails.

A £1.9m print and PoS campaign begins this month to coincide with the national retail roll-out of Mojito and Cosmopolitan (rsp: £13.99 for 70cl) following successful listings in Tesco, Asda and Morrisons this spring.

Smirnoff Caipiroska will arrive in Tesco in August before hitting the other multiples.

Packaged in bottles resembling silver cocktail shakers, each of the 12.5% abv drinks contains six serves. The Cosmopolitan is a blend of Smirnoff, Triple Sec liqueur, cranberry juice and lime flavour, while the Mojito contains Smirnoff, Key Lime liqueur and mint. The Caipiroska mixes Smirnoff, Key Lime liqueur and lime juice.

The range had a successful six-month trial in Ireland last year and would kickstart the growth of a ready-to-serve cocktail category in the UK, according to Matt Partner, commercialisation testing manager at Diageo GB.

"This is an emerging category," he said. "More people are drinking cocktails now so we're trying to create a new ready-to-drink cocktail category in-store. Other brands have started to enter the marketplace but, as we have seen with RTDs and pre-mixes, the category starts to explode when the trusted brands come in."

People were drinking cocktails in the on-trade and looking to re-create them at home, he said, and the new range had been designed to remove uncertainty about how to make them.

The launch will be targeted at 25 to 35-year-old professionals focusing on the marketing message 'Shake and Serve'. "We'll be talking to consumers about how you can experience your favourite cocktail at home, but very simply," added Partner.

Diageo has also announced that Smirnoff No. 21 and Flavours are being revamped. A new brand icon the Regal Eagle will replace the spike graphic and historic producer Ste Pierre Smirnoff's signature has been added to the newly embossed glass bottle.