Diageo has launched a premium silver Tequila, Jose Cuervo Platino, in the UK as the market for the Mexican spirit continues to grow.

Diageo Great Britain said this week that it would back Jose Cuervo Platino with a GBP250,000 (US$431,000) marketing spend, in order to publicise the brand across the trade.

The Tequila, which has been launched for on-trade, was voted the world's best silver Tequila in a blind tasting conducted by the Beverage Testing Institute in the US.

Diageo said the UK Tequila category has continued to grow this year, despite the economic downturn. It said Jose Cuervo was leading the on-trade growth with value sales growing by 24% against other on-trade Tequila.

In the US, Jose Cuervo Tequila has continued to struggle - down by 5% in sales terms - against the growth of the ultra premium Tequila segment in North America, Diageo said in its full-year results announcement in August.

Its new Platino version has been devised by Francisco Hajnal Alfaro, who is director general of the Mexican Tequila Academy.

He said Platino's premium quality came from the fact that it was sourced from blue agave plants between 10 and 12 years old, and was completely handmade.

Alfaro described Platino as slightly spiced, with hints of apple and vanilla on the nose, and with a long finish. The Tequila will have a recommended price of around GBP55-60.