El Presidente cocktail in a glass at a bar
Spain’s Combinación Is An Homage To Its Cocktail Culture
The Combinación is a sling from Spain popular in the 1950s-60s. Its consumption declined alongside the reduction of aperitivo culture, but it has had a resurgence as of 2024.
The drink starts with dry gin and vermouth, an aromatic and malleable base. The mix is complemented with bitters and a splash of an additional component like dry curacao or sherry.
The cocktail traces its early stages to a burgeoning aperitivo culture, which emerged at the end of the 19th century when Spaniards opened daytime drinking cafes serving liquor.
Sometime in the 1920s, the Combinación took hold, especially in Madrid. Bartenders would combine near equal parts of gin and vermouth, and the drink's popularity grew.
By the 1950s, the Combinación was one of the city's most popular creations. Similar slings took hold in other Spanish regions, which showcased Spain's dynamic aperitivo culture.