Diageo is making further moves into the pre-mixed cocktail category with the launch of a margarita pre-mix under the Jose Cuervo tequila brand.

It is hoped the launch of Jose Cuervo Authentic Margarita will benefit from the emerging cocktails at home market and bring more females to the brand.

"The on-trade has seen a surge in the consumption of cocktails over the past 12 months and consumers want to replicate what they are drinking in bars more easily at home," said senior brand manager Helen Facey.

Jose Cuervo is currently enjoyed predominantly by 21 to 29-year-old males but Diageo hopes to expand its audience with the variant. "The pre-mix is intended to appeal to women between 25 and 44 and the convenient format means it is great for anyone to take to parties and bbqs," said Facey.

Jose Cuervo Authentic Margarita is already available in the US and Diageo plans to trial the drink in the UK through 450 selected Tesco and Asda stores in the run up to Christmas (rsp £5.48 for a 70cl bottle).

If successful it will be rolled out and join the company's existing pre-mixed cocktail portfolio, which consists of Pimm's and Lemonade, Gordon's and tonic (both in cans) and the Classic Mix range launched last year. Several pre-mixed cocktails have been launched this year including Tapio cocktails, Muddler Cocktails and a range of pre-mix cocktail bases called Freestyle. All are aimed at the premium end of the market as the emerging category distances itself from the ailing RTD sector.

Suppliers of cocktail ingredients such as liqueur producer Bols are also turning their attention to the take-home market as the trend begins to gather pace.

"The premium cocktail culture is no longer just an on-trade affair," said Nikki Morrison, brand manager for Bols at Maxxium UK, which distributes the brand. "We have seen the cocktail culture penetrate the home as home entertaining continues to rise."