A Short Autobiography
(with Acknowledgments to Nathan)
by F. Scott Fitzgerald


The four defiant Canadian Club whiskeys at the Susquehanna in Hackensack.


The Great Western Champagne at the Trent House in Trenton and the groggy ride back to Princeton.


The Sparkling Burgundy at Bustanoby’s. The raw whiskey in White Sulphur Springs, Montana, when I got up on a table and sang, “Won’t you come up,” to the cowmen. The Stingers at Tate’s in Seattle listening to Ed Muldoon, “that clever chap.”


The apple brandy nipped at in the locker-room at the White Bear Yacht Club.


A first Burgundy with Monsignor X at the Lafayette. Blackberry brandy and whiskey with Tom at the old Nassau Inn.


The Bourbon smuggled to officers’ rooms by bellboys at the Seelbach in Louisville.


The Sazzarac Cocktails brought up from New Orleans to Mont­gomery to celebrate an important occasion.


Red wine at Mollat’s. Absinthe cocktails in a hermetically sealed apartment in the Royalton. Corn liquor by moonlight in a deserted aviation field in Alabama.


Leaving our champagne in the Savoy Grill on the Fourth of July when a drunk brought up two obviously Piccadilly ladies. Yellow Chartreuse in the Via Balbini in Rome.


Kaly’s creme de cacao cocktails in St. Paul. My own first and last manufacture of gin.


Oceans of Canadian ale with R. Lardner in Great Neck, Long Island.


Champagne cocktails on the Minnewaska, and apologizing to the old lady we kept awake. Graves Kressman at Villa Marie in Valescure and consequent arguments about British politics with the nursery governess. Porto Blancs at a time of sadness. Mousseux bought by a Frenchman in a garden at twilight. Chambery Fraise with the Seldes on their honeymoon. The local product ordered on the wise advice of a friendly priest at Orvieto, when we were asking for French wines.


A dry white wine that “won’t travel,” made a little south of Sorrento, that I’ve never been able to trace. Plot coagulating—a sound of hoofs and bugles. The gorgeous Vin d’Arbois at La Reine Pedauque. Cham­pagne cocktails in the Ritz sweatshop in Paris. Poor wines from Nicolas. Kirsch in a Burgundy inn against the rain with E. Hemingway.


Uninteresting St. Estephe in a desolate hole called Salies-de-Bearn. Sherry on the beach at La Garoupe. Gerald M.’s grenadine cocktail, the one flaw to make everything perfect in the world’s most perfect house. Beer and weenies with Grace, Charlie, Ruth, and Ben at Antibes before the deluge.


Delicious California “Burgundy-type” wine in one of the Ambassador bungalows in Los Angeles. The beer I made in Delaware that had a dark inescapable sediment. Cases of dim, cut, unsatisfactory whiskey in Delaware;


The  Pouilly with  Bouillabaisse  at  Prunier’s  in  a  time  of discouragement.


A feeling that all liquor has been drunk and all it can do for one has been experienced, and yet—“Gargon, un Chablis-Mouton 1902, et pour commencer, une petite carafe de vin rose. C’est ca—merci.”

—F. Scott Fitzgerald

Published in New Yorker magazine (May 25, 1929).

Not illustrated.