A drink may be patented in the U.S. if it meets the legal requirements for patentability. Drinks are typically patented using utility patents. In order to receive a patent, a drink must be novel, "nonobvious," and adequately and clearly described in the patent application. An experienced patent attorney can help you through the process, but you are not required to have an attorney in order to file a patent application.
Search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's patent database to make sure that your drink or one substantially like it has not been patented already. The USPTO has two databases: one for issued patents and one for pending patent applications. You can also search issued patents by using Google's patents search engine.
Apply for a customer number and a digital certificate through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Electronic Business Center. These items are your online identification for filing patent applications, paying application fees, and other business you may have with the patent office.
File your patent application through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Electronic Filing System. The USPTO strongly recommends working with an experienced patent attorney to prepare your patent application, since applications require a great deal of detailed information about your invention. You may save your application in the Electronic Filing System and come back to it later, if you need to do additional research or gather information.
Calculate and pay your filing fees for your patent application. The filing fee for a utility patent, such as a patent for a drink, depends on several different factors. As of 2011, the basic utility patent filing fee was $380. Additional fees may be required if your application contains more than 20 claims, exceeds more than 50 pages, or for other reasons. The current fee schedule is available at the USPTO website. You may pay your filing fees online or by sending a money order or cashier's check to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.