What is the Difference Between Drink and Beverage?

Difference Between Drink and Beverage
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There is a marked difference between drink and beverage to some people, yet to others, there isn’t much difference.

The words drink and beverage are often used interchangeably, even though they are not the same. Nevertheless, they are both liquids, and their importance in our lives cannot be overemphasized.

Even the very core of our existence as humans is made up of liquid. A meal, considered a necessity of life, is incomplete without liquid.

For most parties, get together or even little to the large gathering, drinks and beverages are heralded. They are both important sources of liquid; they both give energy and refresh the mental and physical faculties.

Water is the base of this liquid we consume, whether beverage or drink. We see that even in their difference, they stay united by water. Perhaps, this account for why they are often used interchangeably.

Let’s dive into the world of liquid as we examine the difference between drinks and beverages.

The difference between drink and beverage will be examined on the following basis.

1. Difference in Terms of Description

A key difference between drink and beverage lies in its description. A drink can be described as all types of consumable liquid used to assuage thirst.

By this description, we see here that drink is a broad term because it comprises all kinds of consumable liquids, including water.

On the other hand, a beverage is a type of drink that is processed or brewed. By this description, the beverage is streamlined already. We see here that the beverage does not include water.

While water is a drink, it is not a beverage, although it forms the base of beverages. After all, for a beverage to be made, water and some ingredients have to be mixed.  

More so, drinks can describe a liquid option on a menu. In contrast, beverages can be used as formal commercial descriptions of refreshments offered on a menu or branded item.

2. Usage in the English Language

Their usage in the English language is also a difference between drink and beverage. A drink can be used as a noun and a verb in English, depending on the sentence.

 As a verb, drink refers to the act of taking a drink. I.e., it is used in the sense of ‘to gulp.’ E.g., the boy went to drink some water.

While as a noun, drink refers to the item being drunk. E.g., take this drink. On the other hand, a beverage cannot be used as a verb; it can only be used as a noun.

Here, it refers to an object you can make or purchase, i.e., a liquid to consume, such as tea, milk, beer, juice, etc.

3. Difference in Types/examples

Considering that drink is a broader term, it means that it encompasses all kinds of liquid and alcohol; it can be soft, hard, hot, or cold.

Examples of drinks are; alcoholic drinks, water, juice, flavored drinks, carbonated drinks, coffee, cold drinks, soft drinks, tea, etc.

Since beverage, on the other hand, is usually referred to as brewed drinks, beverages are generally hot drinks. Examples are tea and coffee, which includes soft drinks and beer too.

The beverage does not necessarily have alcohol, but beer is the exception. Beer is not a hot drink, but it does contain alcohol in it. This is also another difference between drink and beverage.

4. Difference in How They Are Made

Drinks are simply processed, while beverages are usually brewed or percolated. How the drink is processed affects the final product’s taste, texture, and quality, and this is a yardstick in stating the difference between drink and beverage.

This simple process includes; carbonation, purification, pasteurization, juicing, infusion, fermentation, etc.

On the other hand, a beverage can be brewed, infused, percolated, and fermented, i.e., a beverage has to have something added.

As we mentioned earlier, beverages do not include water. For a beverage to be formed, something has to be added through a process in water with other ingredients.

5. Difference in Idiomatic Expression

Idiomatic expression makes language colorful. It beautifies our words and is a yardstick we will be using in our bid to examine the difference between drink and beverage.

There are many idioms, proverbs, and sayings available for the term drink, while there are only a few sayings but no idiomatic expression available for the term beverage.


As we have seen so far, several differences exist between drinks and beverages despite their similarities.

We have seen that one of the major differences is in terms of description, where we also stated that while water is a drink, it is not a beverage.

Another difference between these liquids is in terms of their usage in the English language. There is also a significant difference in how they are made, and while drinks can be of several types, beverages are generally specified into two.

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