The “Real Housewives of New York City” star and creator of the multi-million dollar cocktail company Skinnygirl met an eager crowd of thirsty fans for a bottle signing June 18. The libations queen landed in Chicago to introduce one of the new “girls” to the family: the Skinnygirl Watermelon Lime Margarita, on shelves later this summer.
Aside from her business, Frankel is also stirring up drama on this season’s “Real Housewives of New York City.” After returning in Season 7 following a three-year hiatus, the proud mother of one is following her own rules, especially when it comes to fellow castmate Countess Luann de Lesseps. Abiding by her tagline, “If you can’t handle the truth, you can’t handle me,” Frankel spills the secrets of her Skinnygirl success and dishes on the inevitable drama that lies ahead on the show.
SPLASH: What are three Skinnygirl cocktail products that every girl needs stocked in her bar this summer?
BETHENNY FRANKEL: I would say either the classic margarita or the Sweetarita because you can accessorize that cocktail with frozen berries, you can add a jalapeno [and] you can use different rimmers. Number two: a spicy lime margarita. Spicy cocktails are very, very in right now. Some girls, like myself, like a lot of heat. It’s a sexy cocktail. And then I would say you need the Bare Naked vodka for a good classic martini and you need one of the wines. I love the Pinot Grigio or the Chardonnay.
S: What can we expect from Skinnygirl cocktails over the next year?
BF: The new Watermelon Lime Margarita will be out this summer. I’m really excited about it. I think it’s different. I like to be ahead of the curve. Definitely the first spicy, low-calorie cocktail, first Watermelon Lime low-calorie cocktail and the wines are really picking up. We have every single wine you could want. The rosé is also really popular this summer.
S: If you could pinpoint one element of your business that makes Skinnygirl so successful, what would it be?
BF: I would say social networking and engagement. It’s a fun brand and people want to be part of it. We have good-looking guys. My fans are mostly women. We try to appeal to women and I know they’re going to want to come here and look at these cute guys. They are so fun and it’s about indulging and allowing. It’s a very fun-spirited, flirty brand. No dirtiness, no sleaziness. There’s no negative messages. I look at the Skinnygirl and I want to hang out with her.
S: You’ve visited Chicago a handful of times and even lived here at one point. What does Chicago mean to you?
BF: I love Chicago! I never turn down a trip here. I brought Carole Radziwill this time and last time I brought my best friend from high school. I’m in and out of many cities. This city, I always stay for the weekend and try to make it a fun event. Even in the winter, I love it. But now that it’s summer, Chicago embraces summer so much —rooftops, cocktails, everyone’s in such a good mood and it’s so nice out. I really love it here. And I feel very loved here. When I come here, I can barely walk the streets. So I know that the love is reciprocal.
S: Finally, for a Housewives question. If you could give yourself one piece of advice before entering Season 1 nearly ten years ago, what would it be?
BF: I think I gave myself that piece of advice: to be real. And if people were going to watch, I was going to be open and honest and own it. I’ve always been like that. It really came naturally to me — it’s just an extension of who I am.
S: And is there a generous amount of drama in store for the remaining half of the season?
BF: It’s much more crazy than you’ve seen already. The end is something you could not have written in a movie. It’s insane.
S: Is there anything else you’d like to add about this season?
B: I’m excited people are watching. The show hasn’t been rated this high since 2012 or 2013. The ratings are through the roof and it’s a good show. It’s real and it’s amazing – people are loving it.
Photos by Coyne PR