Thursday, July 06, 2006

Enthusing U. Ming 1946-2006

Born to Anglophile parents in rural China, Enthusing was named for his boundless enthusiasm for life. Unhindered by his parents' unusual choice of name, aged 20 he sneaked on board a container ship bound for Portsmouth and arrived in the UK with just the clothes he stood up in. Kindly sailors pointed him in the direction of a local boarding house, run by a formidable looking landlady. As wide as she was tall, Mrs Kingsley ran a tight ship, but her hard heart was meted by Enthusing's tale of high seas drama his longing to live in the UK. Mrs Kingsley arranged to Enthusing to start work as a barman in the local pub, the Green Grapes. Enthusing's sunny disposition and friendly nature meant that he made a perfect barman. Over the next few years Enthusing saved up enough money to move to London, and after a series of promotions and new jobs he finally ended up working in a cocktail bar. The movie Cocktail, staring Tom Cruise, had just been released, and the bar was a heady mix of leg warmers, spiral perms and neon signs. Enthusing would stun his audience with audacious barman tricks, spinning bottles in the air in time to music and performing complicated juggling tricks with bottles of Malibu. It was during this exciting time that Enthusing invented the famous "Panda Passion" signature drink. Containing green tea as well as a secret mix of alcoholic spirits, and decorated with a small twig of bamboo, the drink was a celebration of Enthusing's Chinese heritage as well as his happiness in the hand that life had dealt for him. Several people have tried to imitate the recipe but non have been successful, and this is a secret that Enthusing has taken to his grave.
Once the cocktail bubble burst, Enthusing moved into event management and built a very successful business empire. He retired in 1996 and dedicated himself to charity work, including the World Wildlife Fund for nature, who are helping to protect Enthusing's beloved Chinese Pandas. Enthusing's charity work was however brought to a premature end when he was unfortunately hit by a delivery truck crossing the road outside London Zoo. The world is a poorer place without the Panda Passion drink.


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