Beam Global Spirits & Wine is putting £650,000 behind its Sauza tequila brand this year in an attempt to reposition the drink as a long refreshing tipple rather than party-fuelled shot.

It has given the range a new look and rebranded its golden Sauza Hacienda tequila as Sauza Reposado, which will be marketed along with sister Sauza Blanco as 'mixer' tequilas. Beam is also launching a campaign under the strapline 'Fresh & Unexpected'.

"There is a real opportunity for tequila in the UK," said brand manager Daniel Deephouse. "The category has suffered as a result of its image as a cheap shot drink but really it is a modern, mixable white spirit."

The company is promoting tequila with lemonade or cranberry juice served over ice in a long glass.

"Sauza's smooth and distinctive taste lends itself perfectly to long drinks and we know from our research that it fulfils consumer demand for authentic, premium brands," Deephouse added.