Protecting local markets, traditional names and long-established production methods have long been important elements of the international drinks trading system. However in recent years, efforts have been made to bring some order and liberalisation to what was once a plethora of local laws that restricted trade on the one hand, and allowed cheap shoddy copies of drink classics, on the other. Here just-drinks examines the state of drinks production and marketing laws worldwide and examines how governments and international organisations are trying to balance protecting excellence with the need to allow free trade and competition within the sector.