BACKGROUND & AIMS: We prospectively assessed the association between alcohol consumption and the incidence of Metabolic Syndrome (MS) in a Mediterranean cohort. METHODS: We included 8103 (mean age: 35.4 years) University graduates free of any MS criteria and followed-up during ≥6 years. Alcohol consumption was collected with a validated 136-item food frequency questionnaire. New-onset cases of MS were defined according to the updated harmonizing criteria. RESULTS: We observed 341 incident cases of MS. Consumers of ≥7 drinks/wk presented a significantly higher risk of developing MS (aOR: 1.80; 95% CI: 1.22-2.66; p < 0.001) compared with non-drinkers. In addition, alcohol drinkers (≥7 drinks/wk) had higher risk of hypertriglyceridemia (aOR: 2.07; 95% CI: 1.46-2.93) and impaired fasting glucose (aOR: 1.54; 95% CI: 1.16-2.04). Beer consumption was associated with higher risk for MS (p for trend = 0.027) and higher risk of hypertriglyceridemia (aOR: 1.81; 95% CI: 1.02-3.20), but with lower risk of low HDL-cholesterol criterion (aOR: 0.21; 95% CI: 0.05-0.89) for ≥7 drinks/wk versus no consumption. Non-significant association was observed between wine or liquor consumption and MS. CONCLUSIONS: Consumption of at least seven alcoholic drinks per week was associated with a higher risk of developing MS among subjects initially free of any MS criteria.