Absolut Vodka announced today that it was setting its sights on a 30% growth target for its Asian markets over the next two years.

The Absolut Company , a subsidiary of state-run Vin & Sprit said it was looking at changing the drinking patterns of Asia to focus more on vodka as well as a strategy to push sales in China.

"Vodka in Asia is still a small category but it is on the increase and we are hoping to maintain, if not, exceed the 30 percent growth target in the next two years," Linn Sandberg, the manager of communications for the Absolut Company, was quoted as saying by Reuters today.

"We have noticed the gradual and subtle growth of European and American cocktail trends here, and people are starting to switch from the more traditional brown spirits like cognac to cocktails," said Sandberg.

Asia in terms of volumes is not on Absolut's top-ten market list, however, the company said it had noticed a growth in white spirit cocktail trends in the region.

Sandeburg said Absolut had its eye on mainland China after the company launched orange-flavoured "Absolut Mandrin" in Hong Kong.  He said that the growth in travel of the Chinese may mean Absolut would arrive on the market sooner than might be thought.