First Drinks brand Mount Gay Rum is hoping to win over "discerning rum connoisseurs" at Cowes Week.

The brand has been announced as the official sponsor of the event, which starts at the end of July. The climax of the UK sailing calendar was described by First Drinks as the ideal event through which to encourage trial of Mount Gay.

Sampling and experiential activity at this week's Henley Royal Regatta was another example of how the brand was trying to appeal to "middle-income, discerning" rum lovers, said James Stocker, First Drinks' marketing controller of premium dark spirits.

The drinks group had tripled its marketing investment for the brand this year to tap into the 31% off-trade sales growth of golden rum, he said. "The multiples are increasing their ranges of golden rum as new people come to appreciate the drink for its versatility and fantastic cocktail credentials," he added.