Written by volunteer filmmaker Richard Marks.
Creating short films and making cocktails are two of my passions – but I never imagined that volunteering at Fulham Palace would give me the chance to do both.
My background is in communication and public relations, primarily in the field of healthcare, pharmaceuticals and wellness. I’ve been lucky enough to create and work on a whole range of PR and awareness campaigns over the years. Part of that work involved pulling together a team to make videos and short films – a team that would include a writer, a director, a camera operator and an editor.
When I stopped work, I wanted to find a way to use some of my professional skills to make a bit of a difference in the community. How could I work with charity organisations that needed time and resources to help them in their day-to-day operations and help achieve their goals? I also wanted to do something I hadn’t done before and learn new hands-on skills – activities that previously in my job would have been done by the team.
That’s how I came to apply to join the filmmaking team at Fulham Palace in June 2021, and I have been volunteering there ever since. We see eye-to-eye on the sort of video content we feel should be created to reach audiences across Fulham Palace’s social media channels – Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. I’m working with marketing executive Erin Brudi and we make a good team. We come up with ideas together on the films we can create that would be of interest to our audience and then we go out and make them!
I’ve created storyboards and shot lists, and had time to learn how to use a top-of-the-range camera and to edit on Adobe Premier Rush: all things that were new activities for me. It is a real privilege to work with the amazing professionals at Fulham Palace – you can’t make good videos without good content. I’ve been lucky to make a real variety of films including ones with Head Gardener Lucy Hart, collections and conservation officer Roxane Burke and community archaeologist Alexis Haslam on subjects both inside and outside The Palace.
So how does that link to my other passion: making and drinking cocktails? Who knew, but National Rum Day this year is on 19 August. Could we create something new that is exclusive to Fulham Palace to celebrate the day, and then make a video to show how it’s done?
Well, yes, we like a challenge. It required us to put our thinking caps on, to find something that has a link to the Palace and its special garden. Could it be something around the right balance of a recipe that reflects the role of a Bishop of London? Or a new recipe that somehow mirrors the need for new ideas created by a leader of the church? Or maybe even a new recipe that shows the value of sharing new information that is beneficial to the common people?
Clearly, it is possible to overthink things. It is much simpler than that. The essence of a good cocktail is something that is tasty, refreshing and good to look at – and so you need the right ingredients to do that. We all know that there are lots of rum cocktails already created and plenty of recipes….but for me none quite hit the spot. I wanted something that was summery and refreshing. That’s how I came up with a new rum and fruit cocktail specially created for Fulham Palace.
The new cocktail does contain fresh raspberries, which does give it two (all be it tenuous) links to Fulham Palace. The first is that the raspberry is a lovely fruit that grows in gardens at this time of year. The second is that the colour used in the formal robes of Bishops of London is ‘amaranth red’ which resembles the colour fuchsia – which is close to the colour of the raspberry. Again, it’s possible to overthink these things. How about just creating a cocktail that tastes super good?!
Over a few evenings at home with raspberries picked from my allotment that’s what I did. By about version five (and feeling increasingly tipsy) I had the cocktail recipe that worked and I gave it the name The Bishop. Who would have thought I’d now get to make videos showing how to make fantastic summer cocktails, and even create a new one called The Bishop in the process? Aren’t I lucky?
The Bishop and the video featuring volunteer mixologist Amanda showing how it’s done can be found below. Give it a go, and let us know if you enjoy it. Cheers!
You will need…
- 25ml lime juice
- 25ml sugar syrup
- 50ml white rum
- 50ml orange & mango juice mix
- a handful of raspberries for crushing
- 2 raspberries for garnish
- sprig of fresh mint for garnish (optional)
To make The Bishop…
- In a cocktail shaker, muddle the raspberries.
- Add lime juice, sugar syrup, mango & orange juice and the rum to the shaker and stir.
- Add ice and shake until well mixed.
- Strain and pour.
- Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint.