August 7, 2017


If you drink 100 percent fruit or vegetable juices, you won’t pay any more than you do now. They’re exempt.

But many juice drinks, like Sunny D, Jumex and a wide variety of other brands, are made with sugar or other sweeteners and will be taxed.

The tax does not, however, apply to juice concentrates. (Nor does it apply to powders or syrups bought at the store, like Gatorade or Crystal Light, and mixed by consumers at home.)

Sparkling fruit-flavored drinks made with juice or concentrates and not otherwise sweetened, including products made by Izze and Spindrift, also will not be taxed.


Cook County bar patrons likely will pay more for whiskey and Coke, and other mixed drinks. Under the ordinance, if the mixer meets the definition of a sweetened beverage, then it should be taxed just the same.

Likewise, many popular mixers for drinks like margaritas and bloody marys contain some form of sweetener.

Coffee drinks

Ready-to-drink sweetened coffee drinks will be taxed, but not on-demand, custom-sweetened beverages, such as those mixed by a server or barista, or a handmade Frappuccino. If you order a coffee with sugar at a Dunkin’ Donuts, you will not be charged the tax.

Other exemptions include: milk, soy, rice or similar milk substitutes if they are the primary ingredient; infant formula; and beverages for medical use.


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