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How to Sell Homemade Drinks

If you have ever wondered how to start a drink business, you're not alone. Many people are finding that they can start businesses selling food or drinks from their homes. It’s an emerging and exciting market. This overview will help you get started.

Start With a Business Plan

You have to start by picking your drinks. What are your drink business ideas? What are you going to sell? How are you going to make the drinks? How are you going to deliver the drinks to your customers? The answers to these questions form the essence of your business plan, and you can organize them into a soft drink business plan pdf. From there, you want to look into state and local regulations that apply to selling homemade drinks. They vary widely, so know what permits you need. Put research time and effort towards understanding regulations on drink packaging, production, cleanliness and the rest of the regulatory oversight. 

When you work out the legality and essentials of your production and distribution, you need to consider marketing and transactions. How can people find you? How can they order from you and pay you? When the final points are decided, you can put the plan into motion.

Homemade Drink Business Ideas

If you're thinking about starting your own food business, but you're not sure what to sell, use this list as inspiration: 

Alcoholic Beverages Come With Extra Rules

Do you need a liquor license to sell alcohol online?


Alcohol sales licenses are run by individual states. In order to sell alcoholic drinks, you have to go through state channels. In addition, each state sets its own selling alcohol online laws. If you’re trying to sell online, you have to make sure that’s even legal in your state. If you want to deliver or distribute your drinks across state lines, you have to be compliant with all state regulations involved. It’s a process — one that most home-based vendors do not want to endure.

If you are keeping the business local and inside of a single state, then simply follow the laws for your state. That will still require you to have a business license and a specific license for selling alcohol. In some states, you may need an ecommerce license, shipping license or retail license. There are plenty of rules to review, but at least there is only one set of rules in this case.

If you’re wondering, “Can I sell alcohol from home?” That will depend on your state and their ecommerce rules.

Selling alcoholic beverages involves much more regulation and paperwork than a cottage food business. Alcohol is usually forbidden by cottage food laws and can only be sold by licensed establishments.

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Online Sales Have Rules Too

The mechanics of making and selling your drinks online need to be in your business plan for selling soft drinks (or whatever product you pick). That includes how you market and perform translations that deliver products to your customers. In essence, you need to already know how to sell drinks online just to get started. The legality of your endeavor is another issue. You saw the basics of regulations regarding drink sales above. When you sell online, there are more considerations.

First, you will need a commercial license to prepare drinks that you sell to the public. The commercial license (some states have alternatives) subjects you to regulatory inspections. This is different from cottage food permits that would exempt your home business from such inspections. Currently, no state includes beverages among cottage food exemptions.

In addition, many states have special ecommerce regulations that specifically apply to commercial food and beverages. There are too many distinctions to list everything here, but you can check to see if your state has an eCommerce business license that is specific to the food and beverage industry. It will be the best starting point for you to review the laws that will apply to your business.

Understand the Flow of Money

Finally, you need to take a close, hard look at finances. Your licenses and regulations will add costs to the business. The total amount varies wildly by state. It can be anywhere from hundreds of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars (some states have massive alcohol licensing costs).

All of that will ultimately pale in comparison to the production cost of making beverages. In order to sell drinks online, you will likely need to can or bottle your beverages. That means that you need access to commercial bottling resources, and you will really be starting a soft drinks wholesale business. There are facilities that will allow you to rent a space in order to manage your production. Those rentals can include bottling equipment. When you find equipment and a facility that works for your products, you can price those into your overhead.

How much does it cost to start a drink business? These are the steps you can take to answer that question.

Once you know all of the costs, you can figure out your price point to turn a profit and see if your market can or will sustain your business model.

You’ve now covered the basics of how to sell homemade drinks. It will take some work, but your goals are achievable.

Join Castiron 100% risk-free

Explore our tools for free during a 14-day free trial. Start building your website, create your custom order forms, even start taking orders and payments... then decide if it’s for you.

Learn how to start an online food business selling beverages online with this short guide. There are tons of options out there to get going.

Heather Brookshire

The Cake Whisperer


My business would not be the same without my Castiron website! It is an easy setup with lots of customization and tons of support! I am so glad I set up my shop last year before the holidays — it really helped increase my sales!

Amanda McMonigle

The Whimsical Cookie


Castiron provides me a professional site to my customers increasing my credibility and value while giving me the tools to effectively market and manage my business in an easy, user-friendly manner.

Kim Sims

Wesley's Treats Hallie's Sweets


Castiron has made my cottage bakery shine, and my business easy to manage. As a platform they care about my business as much as I do.

Katie Maschoff

Mill City Cooking Company


Before Castiron, I was taking orders really manually, through emails or texts or Facebook. Now I can send customers straight to my website, and I don’t have to worry about missing any details.

Daniella Smith

Oso Good Clean Eats


I couldn't run my business without the Castiron platform. It made it so easy to get my shop up and running — it truly removed a massive barrier to me getting started!

Ali Serpe

Kultured Kombucha


I realized that the barrier of having to DM or text me to order was holding a lot of potential customers back.

Now that I have a professional website and a simple ecommerce checkout, I'm seeing a huge increase in new customers and they appreciate how easy Castiron makes ordering.

Join Castiron 100% risk-free

Explore our tools for free during a 14-day free trial. Start building your website, create your custom order forms, even start taking orders and payments... then decide if it’s for you.

Let's grow together.

Easy to start, created specifically for local, handmade food: Castiron’s website builder was created to help you grow. Create a website in minutes with our templates, sell where and how your customers want to buy, and look professional without being technical. Keep customers coming back with email marketing tools, customer records, and more.

The Best Fit for Your Food Business

Food entrepreneurs, this is your moment. Your community is more and more conscious about what they buy and where it is from. They want food made with love. With ingredients they can pronounce. And they want to support their community while doing it.

Castiron is the best fit for your food business because we're not a one-size-fits-all tool. Selling local food is different from pre-packaged warehouse products. Whether you sell cooking classes, need local pick up, utilize pre-sales to plan inventory, or need a fully custom order form — we got you.

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