We report five cases of anaphylactic reaction to carmine (cochineal. E120) after patients drank an alcoholic beverage. By means of positive skin prick tests (SPT) and positive RAST to carmine, IgE-mediated sensitization could be established. One nonalopic patient showed also a great amount of serum IgE antibodies to the carmine acid-albumin conjugate. Due to its widespread use in the food and cosmetic industry, carmine should be tested in the allergy work-up in case of allergic reactions after a drink or a meal.