Diageo is rolling out eye-catching display units to promote its luxury Reserve Brands range this Christmas.

The Bartenders Choice initiative places selected Reserve Brands spirits in festively-decorated display units which provide consumers with tear-off cocktail recipes using the featured tipples.

Tesco trialled the initiative in the spring but Diageo has introduced the concept to Asda and Sainsbury's to cash in on the party season.

Sainsbury's has rolled out display units containing Smirnoff Black, Grand Marnier and Johnnie Walker Black label into 350 stores and will run the concept until the end of November. The drinks are being supported with a 20% off promotion.

Last week, Asda removed its Bartenders Choice units, which contained Smirnoff Black, Grand Marnier and Tanqueray, following a three-week run in 350 stores.

Diageo was confident the initiative would spark an early festive sales boost for its pricier spirits because of the success of the Tesco rollout of Bartenders Choice when 12% of consumers who bought the featured brands were new to the retailer's spirits category [Dunhumby].

"We are enticing people into spirits through the renewed interest in cocktails," said Alex Ayres, senior brand manager for premium spirits at Diageo.

Reserve Brands is also running a joint ATL marketing push between its malt whiskies and some as-yet-unamed real ale brands, running from next month until April 2011.