Diageo is being forced to come up with a new recipe for its best-selling Smirnoff Ice after the US authorities reassigned alcopops as a "spirit" rather than "beer" drink. The decision by the Alcohol and Tobacco tax and Trade Bureau means higher taxation, as well as stiffer rules on selling, marketing and distribution. Most alcopops have a malt base and then have spirits such as vodka or rum added, along with flavourings. But under the new rules, 51% of the formula will have to come from a malt beverage basis. A Diageo spokesman said the flavour, alcohol content and packaging would not change. The Independent on Sunday 27/02/05 page 2