Bethenny Frankel is not one to let a few knocks keep her down. Despite a failed talk show and messy breakup, the entrepreneur manages to keep incredibly productive. Her latest book, Skinnygirl Cocktails: 100 Fun & Flirty Guilt-Free Recipes, came out in October, and the self-proclaimed fixologist will make her highly anticipated return to season seven of Real Housewives of New York City, the Bravo show that made her a brand.
We talked to Frankel, 44, before her trip down for the South Beach Wine & Food Fest Saturday at the Grand Tasting Village.
You attended Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale and are here often. Ever think of putting down roots?
It’s like my favorite place to visit. I thought about living there, but it makes better business sense to just stay at hotels based on the cost of places. I feel like I’m always there. And the food scene in Miami has blown up. There are so many great restaurants. I remember when it wasn’t like that, and now I can’t even figure out where to go.
What do you think of the food fest?
They’ve done such a great job; people are so invested now. Food is such a universal language and a reason to bring people together. I remember going way before [Housewives]. I couldn’t even get a ticket to half these things. The Burger Bash is always a terrific event; it’s been going on so long. I connect with the chefs and who they are. They were always the celebrities to me. They love food, they love a cocktail. They’re inappropriate and love my inappropriate banter. They don’t care, and it’s great.
What drink from your book can you recommend for people who live in a hot climate year-round?
I think anything that is refreshing but with a little kick. I’m getting into spicy margaritas right now with a chili rim. Something that’s muddled with a Latin flavor is always good. Maybe throw a kumquat in there, or if you have fruit that is going bad put it in the freezer, then blend it in a smoothie cocktail. I like blueberries, raspberries and watermelon for color.
You have your hand in a lot of pots. What is a typical day like for you?
Really no two days are the same. I’ve been trying to exercise more, but that hasn’t been happening. I’m going through a lot of transition. I’ll be finishing my next book, out in the spring, and looking for new office space. People think I sold Skinnygirl, but I didn’t [just the cocktail arm, in 2011]. I’m delving into more stuff — from chips to bars and dips to coffee. Everything is a problem solver, a practical solution. Plus I’m constantly nourished [laughs].
So what can we expect from the “Housewives” now that you’re back on?
Hopefully, I can bring the humor angle. Andy Cohen once told me I was the Greek chorus. Believe me, there is no shortage of content.
You’re a mom this time around. How do you juggle it all?
I do take one day at a time, but you have to be organized, otherwise you can’t think. There are always things to get rid of. I’m very organized, and it’s contagious. I’m in a pretty good place.