Dynamic Seattleites: Flavor Kings, The Bakon Boys

Photo by Amanda Howse

Trendsetting and trailblazing — this trio takes bacon to a whole new level.

Five years ago, Sven Liden, Stefan Schachtell, and Chris Marshall combined one adventurous weekend of camping and added a little dash of trial and error sessions of tastin’ and mixin’ to develop what some are calling the smoothest vodka they’ve ever had — but here’s the twist, it’s bacon flavored.

(L-R) Stefan Schachtell, Chris Marshall, Sven Liden of Bakon Vodka; Photo by Amanda Howse

Yes, the critically acclaimed, 80 proof, premium Bakon Vodka started during a camping trip while the trio, now dubbed the “Bakon Boys,” arrived at the conclusion that there weren’t enough savory spirits to choose from.

“It seems like everyone has that one friend (maybe it’s you) who’s a bacon fanatic,” Liden said. “We have a good friend who is that person. He would bring 10 pounds of bacon camping.”

After deciding that a bacon-flavored vodka would taste great in a Bloody Mary, Liden and Schachtell spent the next weekend in Liden’s kitchen, concocting dozens of variations of their bacon-baby with three different distilled bases of wheat, corn and potato, infused with different types of flavored bacon.

After testing in small batches with friends and local bartenders, they finally picked a winner — peppered bacon in a potato base.

“Eventually we found a combination that worked, and we were able to work with some of our partners to deconstruct those flavors and produce them naturally on a larger scale,” Liden said.

Founded in 2008, their bacon-baby wasn’t just a ground-breaker, but also a crowd-pleaser and award-winner. The Beverage Tasting Institute awarded Bakon Vodka a gold medal in 2010 and won the “Publishers Pick” in The Tasting Panel Magazine, scoring 93 points.  Not to mention, their website has more than 49,000 Facebook “Likes”.

So far, Bakon Vodka is available in 37 states – including Washington, which is quite impressive considering how difficult it is for most liquor brands to find distributors. “Many of our biggest customers are brunch places or sports bars,” says Liden. “And we have a number of high-end cocktail lounges that feature more complex Bakon cocktails.”

Although the trio didn’t come from a formal background in the liquor industry, they were able to make waves quickly because of their entrepreneurial spirit and experience with start-ups.

“I’ve started a number of early-stage companies, primarily in the tech and marketing areas,” Liden said. “Stefan and his father owned a small liquor brokerage in the Northwest, and Chris ran his own graphic design firm. Initially we kept our day jobs or did consulting on the side, but we’re primarily full-time now.”

The best cocktail to try their creation in is a Bloody Mary, or a “Bakon Mary”, as they call it. “Mixologists have come up with lots of amazing cocktails that we wouldn’t have thought of initially,” says Liden. “Bacon is the quintessential comfort food, so I think people want to try it out even if they don’t know what to do with it quite yet.”

If you’re a bacon fanatic and love to drink as well — then your dreams have come true in the form of Bakon Vodka. Even if you aren’t a bacon connoisseur, everyone should add a little spice to their life and get adventurous with their cocktails — bottoms up!

Click here to read about other Dynamic Seattleites.