Marko Pavasovic was joking with his mate in his Gold Coast home about a crazy idea.

They were talking about how there is no alcoholic drink for people who were health conscious and they discussed a dream liquid with no sugar, calories but with electrolytes to also stop hangovers.

As they sat and laughed about how good it would be, they had a light-bulb moment and thought it was something they could maybe turn into a reality.

They turned their crazy idea into a garage start-up and now it has grown into a $3 million venture. Mr Pavasovic and his mate-turned-business partner Dave Nelson threw in the towel on their careers in 2014 and made their new company their focus.

Advertisement

Mr Pavasovic worked as a truck driver, living a life on the road. He would wake up a 4am every day and work until midday.

He'd then have a three hour nap before going to his second job as a personal trainer.

His exhausting routine was only just making him enough money to live.

Mr Pavasovic got a job as a truck driver after school because it was what his dad did and all he knew. He then got a job at a marketing company, where he met Mr Nelson, and soon after they later came up with the idea of Vodka Plus, a drink they claim is a healthy alternative to alcohol.

People laughed in their face when they tried to convince bottle shops to sell it, but now only 11 months later, they are about to stock their pre-mixed vodka drink, with no carbs and sugar but electrolytes, in countries all across the world.

It started small with just Mr Pavasovic and Mr Nelson and they approached manufacturers to make their alcoholic drink.

"Some people laughed, some said we were too small but then we found someone who said, 'Let's have a chat."

It took them 21 testings to settle on a recipe they were happy with and then Mr Pavasovic moved to Melbourne and rented out a 4x4 shed down the road from his house to store samples in. Every morning he would wake up and go to the shed to pick up some drinks and get in his car and drive to nearby bottle shops.

He would try to convince the owners to stock the drink but it was a hard task considering the sale of pre-mixed drinks was declining.

Mr Pavasovic said it was because people were becoming more health conscious and were choosing to drink vodka and soda over "lolly water" drinks.

He believed their product was different to all the other pre-mixed drinks on the shelf and had to argue it was worth stocking.

"This is a really traditional story of everybody laughing at you and people said it was a good idea but everyday you're going into battle with some of the biggest players in the alcohol industry," he told news.com.au.

"Everybody was telling us 'what's the point? You don't have money to spend'.

"But I get a lot of motivation from a lot of similar stories, where businesses start out small. Look at how Richard Branson started Virgin and Steve Jobs started his company from a garage. We just drew our motivation from other people who have already done it."

Finally in March 2015, Mr Pavasovic convinced a bottle shop to stock Vodka Plus.

Another nine bottle shops followed soon after, all a result of Mr Pavasovic walking into the stores with his samples.

The business started getting some momentum and Mr Nelson, Mr Pavasovic and a new business partner, Shane Nettleton, hired alcohol agents to start making their sales.

The alcohol product then started being stocked in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and NSW, as well as Victoria. And now, the product is about to go global and the small business is worth about $3 million.

Next week Vodka Plus will hit shelves in Christchurch and Auckland in New Zealand and by June they will be selling their product in Italy and Switzerland.

China will also stock the alcoholic beverage, and should be in stores by April and the men plan to get the product on shelves in the US by the end of this year.

"At first this was one of those things that nobody wanted to touch or didn't want to take you seriously," Ms Pavasovic said.

"I personally went into the first 10 liquor stores in Melbourne to stock us and now it's a different story, people are calling you up and wanting stock.

"Bringing a new product into this market was a hurdle we had to overcome."

Mr Pavasovic no longer rents the shed and uses one of Australia's biggest distributors to house the alcoholic drink.

For months after the men got their product into the first bottle shop, they had to manage the sales, deliveries, account keeping and manufacturing.

But now, 11 months down the track, they have a whole team employed to help grow the business further.

"I just got taught growing up to work hard for anything you want to achieve and in anything I've done I've just worked hard," he said.

Mr Pavasovic believes millennials are more entrepreneurial than generations in the past and for him, it was certainly worth taking the risk.