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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.
I might not be right, but I consider "beverage" to be American English and "drink" British English. Just like I would say "food shopping" and not "grocery shopping".
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.