First Drinks Brands, the distribution business owned by whisky distiller William Grant & Sons, has confirmed the launch of a smaller-sized variant of the Russian Standard vodka brand in the UK.

As announced last month, a 35cl version of the vodka will join Glenfiddich, Grant's and Three Barrels in offering smaller bottle sizes to customers, with a particular focus on the convenience sector, the company said late last week.

"We are well aware of the difficult trading conditions facing the industry at the moment, and with consumers tightening their belts, the 35cl offering is a perfect way to allow consumers to purchase premium brands at a lower than normal price," said Joanne Birkitt, senior brand manager for Russian Standard at First Drinks. "We are dedicated to supporting our customers and, against the current economic backdrop, these smaller sizes offer the trade excellent margins."

The Russian Standard 35cl bottles will be supported with brand marketing and will be priced at around GBP7.49 (US$11.85).

Last month, First Drinks said that sales of Russian Standard in the UK doubled in 2008, hitting 180,000 cases.