The Three Rivers (Confluence Cocktail)

It sure has been hot this week. So hot, in fact, that any time I have to brave the outdoors, I'm dizzy and seeing hypocycloid stars within minutes. Let's cool down and kick off the weekend with a refreshing, Steelers-inspired cocktail. This drink is also partially inspired by my new (and new favorite) shirt, courtesy of the nice folks at Homage. Their Three Rivers Stadium shirt was featured on the site this past Tuesday for the anniversary the of stadium's opening on July 16, 1970. I snapped one up and it arrived on my doorstep faster than I could say "Fuamatu-Ma'afala."

Before we make our cocktail, which has a trio of ingredients (to represent the Ohio, Allegheny and Monogahela Rivers) AND a trio of garnishes (to represent the three diamonds in the Steelmark logo), let's brush up on the history of Three Rivers Stadium and the Steelers' logo. 

Three Rivers was the Steelers' first true home, where they played from 1970-2000. The team had previously shared both Forbes Field with the Pirates and Pitt Stadium with the Panthers. Three Rivers saw seven AFC Championship games in 30 years, four of which the Steelers won. It was the site of the most-covered, most-infamous play in NFL history, The Immaculate Reception (which, you may recall, we watched and discussed in our last cocktail post). 

$Bill took me to a handful of games at Three Rivers as a kid, the first of which I was too young to even remember now. I do remember watching the 1995 AFC Championship game at Three Rivers on TV, in which the Steelers beat the Indianapolis Colts to advance to Super Bowl XXX. This is because I vividly recall my dad jumping up in the middle of our living room, knocking the light fixture off of the ceiling on the last play of the game when Harbaugh's last-ditch hail mary attempt was incomplete in the end zone, sealing the Steelers' victory. That was the first time in my life that the Steelers advanced to a Super Bowl and I was in awe. (The photo below was not taken at that game, but rather a landslide victory by Pittsburgh over Indy on a different occasion at Three Rivers. "Life was good" that day too.)

"The Steelers went from pro football laughingstocks - a franchise that had never won a playoff game - to champions at Three Rivers. They also went from a team that bounced between Pitt Stadium and Forbes Field to one with a stadium that was considered a palace in its day." (

Three Rivers was demolished on February 11, 2001 (contrary to the date displayed in the video below, likely when it was edited) to make way for the Steelers' and Pitt Panthers' new home across the parking lot, Heinz Field. I remember watching the demolition video online that day with my dad and getting a little choked up:

On to the logo!

The origins of the Steelers' logo lie within the industry that was once the city of Pittsburgh's lifeblood. The design was originally created by the US Steel Corporation and was later owned and distributed by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). It's rare to spot one on any packaging today, but every so often I'll find a can with the tiny logo on the back of the label. Originally, the logo was marketed with the slogan "Steel lightens your work, brightens your leisure and widens your world." Later, the three hypocycloids in the logo came to represent "the materials used to produce steel: yellow for coal, orange for ore, blue for steel scrap." (

Republic Steel of Cleveland (plot twist!) suggested in 1962 that the Steelers use the Steelmark on their helmets. The team added the logo to only the right side of their then-gold helmets to test out the new look. That season, the Steelers made the playoffs for the first time in their history. The helmets were changed from gold to black in an effort to better showcase the new logo and the team decided to keep the "one-sided" look. To this day, the Steelers are the only NFL team with an emblem on only one side of their helmets. The final change came the following year when the Steelers put in a request with AISI to allow them to alter the original Steelmark by changing the text from "Steel" to "Steelers."

This drink recipe comes from our mixologist consultant, $Bill. The yellow, red and blue hypocycloids are frozen in ice! I also used homemade limoncello that was given to me as a holiday gift from a friend and colleague. If you like, you can follow this recipe to make your own - or pick some up from the store! Perfect for a summer day.

The Three Rivers (Confluence Cocktail)
Stiller Nation Snacks N'at original

2 oz limoncello
2 oz citron vodka
3-4 oz club soda
2-4 cherries, halved and pitted
12 blueberries
4 pineapple chunks

Place fruit in empty ice tray. Carefully pour water over fruit to fill tray and freeze.

Remove frozen fruit cubes and place in glass. Pour in limoncello, vodka and tonic. Stir and serve.

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"Stiller Nation Snacks N'at" is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the National Football League or the Pittsburgh Steelers. Logo design by Courtney Brown Makes Prints. All Rights Reserved, Stiller Nation Snacks N'at © 2013