Q & A The Dad.com: ‘Who is your dad?’ Albert van Beeck Calkoen
Meet Mister Cocktail himself, Albert van Beeck Calkoen. This 39 year old is mad about hospitality and spirits (and sure knows how to mix them in his own bar Mister Cocktail). But above all he is husband to Kiki and father to Jussi (12) and Jules (4). Jussi came into Albert’s life together with the lovely Kiki and little Jules joined the family later.
What is the first thing you did when you found out you were becoming a dad? And who was the first one you called?
I held my wife for a very long time. We experienced it twice, but the first time nature decided to call it quits. We are now blessed with a big boy (and his big brother) to drain us of our energy. The first people I called were my parents, as it’s also their first grandkid.
Can you tell us something about how you handle parenting? Are there specific values? What do you teach your children?
Parenting is quite hard at times. Your kids are the perfect mirror, if you chose to see it. I try to make them work to earn something if they want it. I remind them all the time to ask something nicely if they want a favor from me and I teach them at times to hear the word “no”. Sometimes these two even go together.
How did becoming a father change your life?
It has given me a new perspective on responsibilities and the purpose of my life. Before that, life was pretty uncomplicated compared to the ‘after’. But this is something you just cannot prepare for, maybe only a little bit in a practical way.
Can you describe your personal style? What are your favorite brands? And If you could only take 6 items of your current wardrobe, what would that be?
I have a mixed style, I’m normally dressed quite casually but I really like to suit up. My shoes are Paul Smith dip dyed, my suits are either from Daniele Alessandrini or Suit Supply. These combined would be my 5 favorite items, complemented by a skinny black silk tie.
Do you often juggle with work and being a father?
The calling voice of my youngest sometimes has to compete with my work but since very recent I have the luxury of my own office. I can leave my laptop there so I expect less competition between them.
How are the roles divided between you and your partner?
Until April 1st I have been working from home for a long time while my wife was working out of home. Logically I had a bit more time with my youngest and could spend less time on work, but we switched so my wife can be with our kids more. We try to let her be the one making sure the kids stick to the house rules we have so I don’t have to, but I sometimes fail.
Is there anything in your partner’s wardrobe you really hate?
She bought a bright green woolen vest for my sister’s wedding a few years back. I don’t really hate it, but I would consider it to be my least favourite object from her closet.
How do you like to see your partner dressed?
I love to see her in anything, as long as she feels comfortable in it. However, I do love it when she wears half-open black heels combined with a dressy style.
What is your favorite destination? And if you have the opportunity to pack your bags with your family to move anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?
I have visitedThailand quite a few times before I knew my wife and I would love to see us spending some time there, especially at Relax Bay in Koh Lanta. Our favourite city we would consider living in, other than Amsterdam, is Copenhagen.
Which gadget cannot be missing (out) in a dad’s life?
My smartphone, no doubt.
Name a dad with style that inspires you.
What is your ultimate daddy must-have?
My Artis yearly membership.
What was the stroller you used for your baby?
We had a Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle.
Name any restaurant in the world which is your favorite and why?
The best dish in a restaurant I ever had was at &SamhoudPlaces, the best dish I ever had in general was a Tlajuda in a Mexican roadside restaurant in Matatlán, the best wine in a restaurant I ever drank was in Rosso, Rotterdam (Amarone) and the best cocktail I ever drank was the Gimlet in The Duchess.
What are your favorite holiday destinations with kids?
We have visited Denmark for the past five years in a row, it is a great country to visit with kids. Berlin is also super as it has many playgrounds and wide sidewalks for them to cycle or skateboard on.
What do you do when you are in need of inspiration?
I take a glass of Mezcal, listen to Johnnie Cash and read books about cocktails. And I ask my wife for some help.
When you go out with your friends, in which club can we find you?
I rarely go clubbing anymore, I’m more likely to be found at a concert.
That can be either classical or something with guitars.
What’s your favorite drink?
The one I have in my hand. No seriously, I can enjoy all kinds of drinks as long as it has been well prepared, either before bottling or by a bartender.
What is the best place to go to with kids in the weekend?
Beach in the summer for sure, as it entertains both kids. Dark and rainy days are more difficult as my kids are far apart in age, but a movie once in a while is good fun for them. And for me as well.
Are you aware of your health? Do you exercise to stay in shape? What are you thoughts on your health?
I was a gym instructor about 15 years ago and I’ve followeded a strict workout schedule for at least 10 years. I stopped exercising a while ago and go jogging every now and then with my eldest. I should do it much more as I loved being in shape and I surely am not at this point.
What are the three beauty products, which you always have on your bathroom shelf?
A cream for the day, the night and for my eyes. Not too picky on brands to be honest.
What is your favorite city in the world and why?
That would still be Amsterdam as it’s small enough to cycle through. It is moving towards the standard of metropoles like London and Paris at the speed of lightning but the city remains small. For visiting, I really love London because of the great cocktail-scene and New York for the energy.
Is there anything you want to do or accomplish?
I hope to become the husband my wife deserves and the father my kids should have. It’s hard work and I need to keep listening to my wife and keep looking into the mirror that my kids are to me.
What is your favorite family car and why?
I greatly enjoyed my Volkswagen Touran (old model) that I could drive for my work. It was the perfect family car for many reasons. I had the opportunity to buy it when I left my job, but stupidly didn’t do so.
Where do we see you in 10 years?
Travelling the world with my own spirit brand (working on that) and with a steady base at home together with my wife and kids.
Name 3 things on your bucket list?
Own my very own spirit brand, travel New Zealand with my family, learn to respect deadlines
Any tips for new dads?
Take at least 3 months off from your work from the day your kiddo is born. I did this too and I think it was one of the best things I have ever done.
The Dad I would like to suggest for the next “Who is your dad” is……
Sietze Kalkwijk, owner of VL92 gin.
Credits: Marinke Davelaar Photography