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comments and corrections are welcome
Beverage is the more formal way of saying it but even then you don't use it very often. I think I've gone my whole life without using the word beverage. There's no difference in meaning.
Maybe "drink" is used often in speech, whereas "beverage" is often written on menus. I don't know if "beverage" is used everywhere, but it is in New Jersey.
There is one difference in America at least, drink often implies alocholic drink. For example if someone says, "I need a drink." he is probably talking about an alcoholic drink.
In the UK 'drink' can imply an alcoholic drink like that too. It depends on the context.
Such an example would be: 'Let's go for a drink.' - implies alcoholic.
You cannot say "Buy me a beverage." . A beverage can signify coffee, juice, etc. A drink is used for the "verb" form of course; and for the alcoholic beverages.
"Buy me a drink please".
"No you buy me a drink, B**tch"
Maybe there is a difference in connotation (here, USA) between, "I, he, or she needs a drink." and "I, he, or she needs to drink something." The first, like they said, implies alcohol. "I need something to drink." I don't think carries the implication at alcohol.