Alcoholic beverages are a potential source of numerous health risks. The general risks are well known; first of all they result from the contents of the alcohol and their degree is directly proportional to the amount consumed. However, alcoholic beverages contain also a wide range of non-alcoholic components, which can be a source of health risks as well. Some of these substances work through allergic or pseudoallergic mechanisms and such undesired response can appear early after the consumption of a small amount of beverage. The article offers a basic survey of alcoholic beverages; it mentions important technological procedures of their production stating also the most significant resulting components of their individual types. A special attention is paid to the non-alcoholic components, which can be the cause of undesired effects on the human health.