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 7 of Real Housewives of New York City, the Bravo show that made her not only a personality but a brand.
We talked to Frankel, 44, before her trip down for the South Beach Wine & Food Fest Feb. 21 at the Grand Tasting Village. Info: Sobefest.com
You attended Pine Crest School and visit the area often. Ever think of putting down roots here?
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 drink from your book can you recommend for people who live in a hot climate year round such as ours?
I think anything that is refreshing but with a little kick. Also something that’s muddled with a Latin flavor. I’m getting into spicy margaritas right now with a chili rim. Maybe throw a kumquat in there, or if you have fruit that is going bad throw it in the freezer and then blend it in a smoothie cocktail. I like blueberries, raspberries and watermelon for color.
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.
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 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, doing interviews like this one, looking for new office space. People think I sold Skinnygirl, but I didn’t [just the cocktail portion, 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.
You’re a mom this time around. How do you juggle everything?
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.
So how are you feeling about returning to the franchise?
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.