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Skinnygirl to Begin Selling Wine in March

Skinnygirl to Begin Selling Wine in March


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The popular brand will roll out 3 wines next month

Weight-conscious wine drinkers, rejoice! Skinnygirl, known for its low-calorie, pre-made margarita, will enter the wine market next month, according to Wine Spectator.

The 2011 Skinnygirl vintage will include a red blend made primarily from syrah, a white blend made from chardonnay and pinot grigio, and a rosé featuring grenache and syrah. The wines will cost $15 each and contain 12 percent alcohol and 100 calories per 5-ounce serving.

Click here for 9 Drinks Made Just for the Ladies.

The wines, made by the Winery Exchange headquartered in Novato, Calif., are a collaboration of the winemaker Bethenny Frankel, who pioneered the Skinnygirl brand in 2009, and Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc., who purchased Skinnygirl in 2011.

If you’re wondering whether these wines are in fact lower in calories than "regular" wines, reporter Robert Taylor cites in his article that past estimates by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveal that most 5-ounce glasses of wine contain an average of 100 calories.

From Wine Spectator:
"'I wanted [Skinnygirl] to taste approachable, not too dry and not too sweet, a very drinkable blend,' Frankel told Wine Spectator. 'I'm not a wine snob — I've found great wines at Trader Joe's. I didn't want this brand to try to be something it's not.'"

— Wayne Stainrook, Snooth


Skinnygirl, Fat Wallet: How Bethenny Frankel Earns More Than Any Other Real Housewife

In 2011, Bethenny Frankel graced the cover of FORBES magazine’s annual Celebrity 100 issue. At the time, Frankel starred in her own series on Bravo, had just published her third best-selling book and had recently sold her Skinnygirl liquor company to Beam Global (now Beam Suntory) for a reported $100 million.

The Housewife was by far the highest-earning reality star at the time, and she was also one of the top-paid celebrities of the year, with earnings of $55 million.

Bethenny Frankel earned $8.5 million last year thanks to her lucrative Skinnygirl brand. ( Evan . [+] Agostini/Invision/AP)

She will likely never rake in as much cash in one year as she did in 2011, but she is still one of the top-earning reality television stars: This year, Frankel—who returned to The Real Housewives of New York —made $8.5 million between June 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016. That makes her 2016’s sixth highest-paid reality star and the only real housewife (and person without the last name Kardashian or Jenner) to make our list.

But if she sold her Skinnygirl liquor five years ago, how is she so making so much more cash than her fellow Bravo Housewives, who FORBES estimates each make under $5 million (and in most cases, much less) a year?

It turns out that low-calorie margaritas may just be the gift that keeps on giving. Rather than accept the purchase of Skinnygirl as a lump sum of easy money, Frankel decided to bet on the business and continues to get payouts if Skinnygirl alcohol products sell well.

The self-made Frankel (she remembers being broke and “eating cartons of takeout rice two meals a day”) is onto something when she calls herself a good businesswoman, because that decision has paid off. Skinnygirl alcohol is reportedly one of the most successful reduced-calorie alcohol products. The original Skinnygirl Margarita's sales are up versus last year, according to Beam Suntory.

But she didn’t stop there. After all, this is the same woman who once told FORBES , “What’s the point of being on TV if you don’t have something to sell?”

So, sell she does. In the deal with Beam, Frankel smartly negotiated to keep the rights to the brand name “Skinnygirl” (a moniker viewers of the most recent season of Real Housewives of New York would know she is very protective of). This means she can use the powerful brand name to market other products.

“It would be great for Beam to sell Skinnygirl shot glasses as a complement to the cocktail,” she told FORBES . “But they can’t. Only I can.”

Gallery: America's Top-Earning Reality Stars 2016

So far, the name has been lent to granola bars, lunch meats, candies, shapewear and more, with some of these products available nationwide at stores like CVS and Walmart. She chooses her licensing deals based on what she, herself, would want to buy.

“It is important to know your message, identify your customer, and have a clear understanding of how to provide them what they need," she says. "As a woman that sits in the bullseye of the demographic we reach, I feel like I have a sense of what women want."

In each of these deals, Frankel gets a small percentage of sales as a royalty rate. While these products may not fly off the shelves like her original beverages, she likely gets both a signing fee and minimum guarantee for each deal.

“She really has created a brand,” says licensing expert Michael Stone, the cofounder of Beanstalk.

While alcohol makes up the largest part of her earnings, these products bolster it. So does her salary from Bravo (which neither the network nor Frankel would confirm, but FORBES estimates is north of $1 million), her appearances, her short-lived podcast, the television series Food Porn, which she produced, and her Instagram ads. Experts estimate she can command between $10,000 and $30,000 per paid post thanks to the highly-engaged fans she counts among her over 1.1 million followers on the app.

Frankel, seen here with the other cast members of The Real Housewives of New York, is the only . [+] non-Kardashian or Jenner to make FORBES' list of top-earning reality stars. (Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Frankel is far from the only Bravo-lebrity to come out with a food product, put her name on an article of clothing or post an Instagram ad. The difference is that she is the only one to make any real money off it. (Nene Leakes, who has a successful QVC line, may be the exception to that rule, but she was disqualified from the list of top-earning reality stars because she was not a regular cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta during our scoring period of June 1, 2105 to June 1, 2016).

There are a few reasons for this, one being the aforementioned deal with Beam. Because she owned her Skinnygirl alcohol company, she could cut a better deal with them than the typical licensing or marketing deal in terms of continued payouts.

The other Housewives’ deals are almost entirely licensing ones, such as Lisa Vanderpump’s jewelry line or Vicki Gunvalson’s perfume . (It is important to note that this story discusses earnings, not net-worth. While Vanderpump's restaurant empire or Gunvalson's insurance company, for example, may be worth quite a bit of money, they do not provide the same profit as Frankel's business.)

Design by Nick DeSantis, Forbes staff

Also, because of its reputable line of cocktails, Frankel’s brand has more value than those of other Housewives when she does make licensing deals. This reputation makes it easier to negotiate higher signing fees and minimum guarantee, and it also means consumers are more likely to trust the products.

“She is way out ahead of the other Housewives. They don’t even come close,” Stone says. “She has developed a brand the others have not really developed brands.

Still, Frankel and her Skinnygirl brand have had some misses--such as a discontinued skin care line--as have many of the other Housewives (fans can think back to Real Housewives of New York’s Sonja Morgan’s toaster ovens or Atlanta’ s Kim Zolciak’s wig line).

But failed reality star brands are nothing new: Take a look at President-elect Donald Trump. Back in his Apprentice days, Trump--who was on FORBES’ Celebrity 100 for the first time in 2004 as a reality star--had a number of failed products bearing his name, including Trump Steaks , Trump Vodka and Trump Magazine , among others .

In Frankel’s case, at least, a failed licensing deal does not mean game over, money-wise. As long as there remains drama on The Real Housewives of New York, she (and the viewers ) will need a drink .


Skinnygirl, Fat Wallet: How Bethenny Frankel Earns More Than Any Other Real Housewife

In 2011, Bethenny Frankel graced the cover of FORBES magazine’s annual Celebrity 100 issue. At the time, Frankel starred in her own series on Bravo, had just published her third best-selling book and had recently sold her Skinnygirl liquor company to Beam Global (now Beam Suntory) for a reported $100 million.

The Housewife was by far the highest-earning reality star at the time, and she was also one of the top-paid celebrities of the year, with earnings of $55 million.

Bethenny Frankel earned $8.5 million last year thanks to her lucrative Skinnygirl brand. ( Evan . [+] Agostini/Invision/AP)

She will likely never rake in as much cash in one year as she did in 2011, but she is still one of the top-earning reality television stars: This year, Frankel—who returned to The Real Housewives of New York —made $8.5 million between June 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016. That makes her 2016’s sixth highest-paid reality star and the only real housewife (and person without the last name Kardashian or Jenner) to make our list.

But if she sold her Skinnygirl liquor five years ago, how is she so making so much more cash than her fellow Bravo Housewives, who FORBES estimates each make under $5 million (and in most cases, much less) a year?

It turns out that low-calorie margaritas may just be the gift that keeps on giving. Rather than accept the purchase of Skinnygirl as a lump sum of easy money, Frankel decided to bet on the business and continues to get payouts if Skinnygirl alcohol products sell well.

The self-made Frankel (she remembers being broke and “eating cartons of takeout rice two meals a day”) is onto something when she calls herself a good businesswoman, because that decision has paid off. Skinnygirl alcohol is reportedly one of the most successful reduced-calorie alcohol products. The original Skinnygirl Margarita's sales are up versus last year, according to Beam Suntory.

But she didn’t stop there. After all, this is the same woman who once told FORBES , “What’s the point of being on TV if you don’t have something to sell?”

So, sell she does. In the deal with Beam, Frankel smartly negotiated to keep the rights to the brand name “Skinnygirl” (a moniker viewers of the most recent season of Real Housewives of New York would know she is very protective of). This means she can use the powerful brand name to market other products.

“It would be great for Beam to sell Skinnygirl shot glasses as a complement to the cocktail,” she told FORBES . “But they can’t. Only I can.”

Gallery: America's Top-Earning Reality Stars 2016

So far, the name has been lent to granola bars, lunch meats, candies, shapewear and more, with some of these products available nationwide at stores like CVS and Walmart. She chooses her licensing deals based on what she, herself, would want to buy.

“It is important to know your message, identify your customer, and have a clear understanding of how to provide them what they need," she says. "As a woman that sits in the bullseye of the demographic we reach, I feel like I have a sense of what women want."

In each of these deals, Frankel gets a small percentage of sales as a royalty rate. While these products may not fly off the shelves like her original beverages, she likely gets both a signing fee and minimum guarantee for each deal.

“She really has created a brand,” says licensing expert Michael Stone, the cofounder of Beanstalk.

While alcohol makes up the largest part of her earnings, these products bolster it. So does her salary from Bravo (which neither the network nor Frankel would confirm, but FORBES estimates is north of $1 million), her appearances, her short-lived podcast, the television series Food Porn, which she produced, and her Instagram ads. Experts estimate she can command between $10,000 and $30,000 per paid post thanks to the highly-engaged fans she counts among her over 1.1 million followers on the app.

Frankel, seen here with the other cast members of The Real Housewives of New York, is the only . [+] non-Kardashian or Jenner to make FORBES' list of top-earning reality stars. (Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Frankel is far from the only Bravo-lebrity to come out with a food product, put her name on an article of clothing or post an Instagram ad. The difference is that she is the only one to make any real money off it. (Nene Leakes, who has a successful QVC line, may be the exception to that rule, but she was disqualified from the list of top-earning reality stars because she was not a regular cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta during our scoring period of June 1, 2105 to June 1, 2016).

There are a few reasons for this, one being the aforementioned deal with Beam. Because she owned her Skinnygirl alcohol company, she could cut a better deal with them than the typical licensing or marketing deal in terms of continued payouts.

The other Housewives’ deals are almost entirely licensing ones, such as Lisa Vanderpump’s jewelry line or Vicki Gunvalson’s perfume . (It is important to note that this story discusses earnings, not net-worth. While Vanderpump's restaurant empire or Gunvalson's insurance company, for example, may be worth quite a bit of money, they do not provide the same profit as Frankel's business.)

Design by Nick DeSantis, Forbes staff

Also, because of its reputable line of cocktails, Frankel’s brand has more value than those of other Housewives when she does make licensing deals. This reputation makes it easier to negotiate higher signing fees and minimum guarantee, and it also means consumers are more likely to trust the products.

“She is way out ahead of the other Housewives. They don’t even come close,” Stone says. “She has developed a brand the others have not really developed brands.

Still, Frankel and her Skinnygirl brand have had some misses--such as a discontinued skin care line--as have many of the other Housewives (fans can think back to Real Housewives of New York’s Sonja Morgan’s toaster ovens or Atlanta’ s Kim Zolciak’s wig line).

But failed reality star brands are nothing new: Take a look at President-elect Donald Trump. Back in his Apprentice days, Trump--who was on FORBES’ Celebrity 100 for the first time in 2004 as a reality star--had a number of failed products bearing his name, including Trump Steaks , Trump Vodka and Trump Magazine , among others .

In Frankel’s case, at least, a failed licensing deal does not mean game over, money-wise. As long as there remains drama on The Real Housewives of New York, she (and the viewers ) will need a drink .


Skinnygirl, Fat Wallet: How Bethenny Frankel Earns More Than Any Other Real Housewife

In 2011, Bethenny Frankel graced the cover of FORBES magazine’s annual Celebrity 100 issue. At the time, Frankel starred in her own series on Bravo, had just published her third best-selling book and had recently sold her Skinnygirl liquor company to Beam Global (now Beam Suntory) for a reported $100 million.

The Housewife was by far the highest-earning reality star at the time, and she was also one of the top-paid celebrities of the year, with earnings of $55 million.

Bethenny Frankel earned $8.5 million last year thanks to her lucrative Skinnygirl brand. ( Evan . [+] Agostini/Invision/AP)

She will likely never rake in as much cash in one year as she did in 2011, but she is still one of the top-earning reality television stars: This year, Frankel—who returned to The Real Housewives of New York —made $8.5 million between June 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016. That makes her 2016’s sixth highest-paid reality star and the only real housewife (and person without the last name Kardashian or Jenner) to make our list.

But if she sold her Skinnygirl liquor five years ago, how is she so making so much more cash than her fellow Bravo Housewives, who FORBES estimates each make under $5 million (and in most cases, much less) a year?

It turns out that low-calorie margaritas may just be the gift that keeps on giving. Rather than accept the purchase of Skinnygirl as a lump sum of easy money, Frankel decided to bet on the business and continues to get payouts if Skinnygirl alcohol products sell well.

The self-made Frankel (she remembers being broke and “eating cartons of takeout rice two meals a day”) is onto something when she calls herself a good businesswoman, because that decision has paid off. Skinnygirl alcohol is reportedly one of the most successful reduced-calorie alcohol products. The original Skinnygirl Margarita's sales are up versus last year, according to Beam Suntory.

But she didn’t stop there. After all, this is the same woman who once told FORBES , “What’s the point of being on TV if you don’t have something to sell?”

So, sell she does. In the deal with Beam, Frankel smartly negotiated to keep the rights to the brand name “Skinnygirl” (a moniker viewers of the most recent season of Real Housewives of New York would know she is very protective of). This means she can use the powerful brand name to market other products.

“It would be great for Beam to sell Skinnygirl shot glasses as a complement to the cocktail,” she told FORBES . “But they can’t. Only I can.”

Gallery: America's Top-Earning Reality Stars 2016

So far, the name has been lent to granola bars, lunch meats, candies, shapewear and more, with some of these products available nationwide at stores like CVS and Walmart. She chooses her licensing deals based on what she, herself, would want to buy.

“It is important to know your message, identify your customer, and have a clear understanding of how to provide them what they need," she says. "As a woman that sits in the bullseye of the demographic we reach, I feel like I have a sense of what women want."

In each of these deals, Frankel gets a small percentage of sales as a royalty rate. While these products may not fly off the shelves like her original beverages, she likely gets both a signing fee and minimum guarantee for each deal.

“She really has created a brand,” says licensing expert Michael Stone, the cofounder of Beanstalk.

While alcohol makes up the largest part of her earnings, these products bolster it. So does her salary from Bravo (which neither the network nor Frankel would confirm, but FORBES estimates is north of $1 million), her appearances, her short-lived podcast, the television series Food Porn, which she produced, and her Instagram ads. Experts estimate she can command between $10,000 and $30,000 per paid post thanks to the highly-engaged fans she counts among her over 1.1 million followers on the app.

Frankel, seen here with the other cast members of The Real Housewives of New York, is the only . [+] non-Kardashian or Jenner to make FORBES' list of top-earning reality stars. (Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Frankel is far from the only Bravo-lebrity to come out with a food product, put her name on an article of clothing or post an Instagram ad. The difference is that she is the only one to make any real money off it. (Nene Leakes, who has a successful QVC line, may be the exception to that rule, but she was disqualified from the list of top-earning reality stars because she was not a regular cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta during our scoring period of June 1, 2105 to June 1, 2016).

There are a few reasons for this, one being the aforementioned deal with Beam. Because she owned her Skinnygirl alcohol company, she could cut a better deal with them than the typical licensing or marketing deal in terms of continued payouts.

The other Housewives’ deals are almost entirely licensing ones, such as Lisa Vanderpump’s jewelry line or Vicki Gunvalson’s perfume . (It is important to note that this story discusses earnings, not net-worth. While Vanderpump's restaurant empire or Gunvalson's insurance company, for example, may be worth quite a bit of money, they do not provide the same profit as Frankel's business.)

Design by Nick DeSantis, Forbes staff

Also, because of its reputable line of cocktails, Frankel’s brand has more value than those of other Housewives when she does make licensing deals. This reputation makes it easier to negotiate higher signing fees and minimum guarantee, and it also means consumers are more likely to trust the products.

“She is way out ahead of the other Housewives. They don’t even come close,” Stone says. “She has developed a brand the others have not really developed brands.

Still, Frankel and her Skinnygirl brand have had some misses--such as a discontinued skin care line--as have many of the other Housewives (fans can think back to Real Housewives of New York’s Sonja Morgan’s toaster ovens or Atlanta’ s Kim Zolciak’s wig line).

But failed reality star brands are nothing new: Take a look at President-elect Donald Trump. Back in his Apprentice days, Trump--who was on FORBES’ Celebrity 100 for the first time in 2004 as a reality star--had a number of failed products bearing his name, including Trump Steaks , Trump Vodka and Trump Magazine , among others .

In Frankel’s case, at least, a failed licensing deal does not mean game over, money-wise. As long as there remains drama on The Real Housewives of New York, she (and the viewers ) will need a drink .


Skinnygirl, Fat Wallet: How Bethenny Frankel Earns More Than Any Other Real Housewife

In 2011, Bethenny Frankel graced the cover of FORBES magazine’s annual Celebrity 100 issue. At the time, Frankel starred in her own series on Bravo, had just published her third best-selling book and had recently sold her Skinnygirl liquor company to Beam Global (now Beam Suntory) for a reported $100 million.

The Housewife was by far the highest-earning reality star at the time, and she was also one of the top-paid celebrities of the year, with earnings of $55 million.

Bethenny Frankel earned $8.5 million last year thanks to her lucrative Skinnygirl brand. ( Evan . [+] Agostini/Invision/AP)

She will likely never rake in as much cash in one year as she did in 2011, but she is still one of the top-earning reality television stars: This year, Frankel—who returned to The Real Housewives of New York —made $8.5 million between June 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016. That makes her 2016’s sixth highest-paid reality star and the only real housewife (and person without the last name Kardashian or Jenner) to make our list.

But if she sold her Skinnygirl liquor five years ago, how is she so making so much more cash than her fellow Bravo Housewives, who FORBES estimates each make under $5 million (and in most cases, much less) a year?

It turns out that low-calorie margaritas may just be the gift that keeps on giving. Rather than accept the purchase of Skinnygirl as a lump sum of easy money, Frankel decided to bet on the business and continues to get payouts if Skinnygirl alcohol products sell well.

The self-made Frankel (she remembers being broke and “eating cartons of takeout rice two meals a day”) is onto something when she calls herself a good businesswoman, because that decision has paid off. Skinnygirl alcohol is reportedly one of the most successful reduced-calorie alcohol products. The original Skinnygirl Margarita's sales are up versus last year, according to Beam Suntory.

But she didn’t stop there. After all, this is the same woman who once told FORBES , “What’s the point of being on TV if you don’t have something to sell?”

So, sell she does. In the deal with Beam, Frankel smartly negotiated to keep the rights to the brand name “Skinnygirl” (a moniker viewers of the most recent season of Real Housewives of New York would know she is very protective of). This means she can use the powerful brand name to market other products.

“It would be great for Beam to sell Skinnygirl shot glasses as a complement to the cocktail,” she told FORBES . “But they can’t. Only I can.”

Gallery: America's Top-Earning Reality Stars 2016

So far, the name has been lent to granola bars, lunch meats, candies, shapewear and more, with some of these products available nationwide at stores like CVS and Walmart. She chooses her licensing deals based on what she, herself, would want to buy.

“It is important to know your message, identify your customer, and have a clear understanding of how to provide them what they need," she says. "As a woman that sits in the bullseye of the demographic we reach, I feel like I have a sense of what women want."

In each of these deals, Frankel gets a small percentage of sales as a royalty rate. While these products may not fly off the shelves like her original beverages, she likely gets both a signing fee and minimum guarantee for each deal.

“She really has created a brand,” says licensing expert Michael Stone, the cofounder of Beanstalk.

While alcohol makes up the largest part of her earnings, these products bolster it. So does her salary from Bravo (which neither the network nor Frankel would confirm, but FORBES estimates is north of $1 million), her appearances, her short-lived podcast, the television series Food Porn, which she produced, and her Instagram ads. Experts estimate she can command between $10,000 and $30,000 per paid post thanks to the highly-engaged fans she counts among her over 1.1 million followers on the app.

Frankel, seen here with the other cast members of The Real Housewives of New York, is the only . [+] non-Kardashian or Jenner to make FORBES' list of top-earning reality stars. (Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Frankel is far from the only Bravo-lebrity to come out with a food product, put her name on an article of clothing or post an Instagram ad. The difference is that she is the only one to make any real money off it. (Nene Leakes, who has a successful QVC line, may be the exception to that rule, but she was disqualified from the list of top-earning reality stars because she was not a regular cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta during our scoring period of June 1, 2105 to June 1, 2016).

There are a few reasons for this, one being the aforementioned deal with Beam. Because she owned her Skinnygirl alcohol company, she could cut a better deal with them than the typical licensing or marketing deal in terms of continued payouts.

The other Housewives’ deals are almost entirely licensing ones, such as Lisa Vanderpump’s jewelry line or Vicki Gunvalson’s perfume . (It is important to note that this story discusses earnings, not net-worth. While Vanderpump's restaurant empire or Gunvalson's insurance company, for example, may be worth quite a bit of money, they do not provide the same profit as Frankel's business.)

Design by Nick DeSantis, Forbes staff

Also, because of its reputable line of cocktails, Frankel’s brand has more value than those of other Housewives when she does make licensing deals. This reputation makes it easier to negotiate higher signing fees and minimum guarantee, and it also means consumers are more likely to trust the products.

“She is way out ahead of the other Housewives. They don’t even come close,” Stone says. “She has developed a brand the others have not really developed brands.

Still, Frankel and her Skinnygirl brand have had some misses--such as a discontinued skin care line--as have many of the other Housewives (fans can think back to Real Housewives of New York’s Sonja Morgan’s toaster ovens or Atlanta’ s Kim Zolciak’s wig line).

But failed reality star brands are nothing new: Take a look at President-elect Donald Trump. Back in his Apprentice days, Trump--who was on FORBES’ Celebrity 100 for the first time in 2004 as a reality star--had a number of failed products bearing his name, including Trump Steaks , Trump Vodka and Trump Magazine , among others .

In Frankel’s case, at least, a failed licensing deal does not mean game over, money-wise. As long as there remains drama on The Real Housewives of New York, she (and the viewers ) will need a drink .


Skinnygirl, Fat Wallet: How Bethenny Frankel Earns More Than Any Other Real Housewife

In 2011, Bethenny Frankel graced the cover of FORBES magazine’s annual Celebrity 100 issue. At the time, Frankel starred in her own series on Bravo, had just published her third best-selling book and had recently sold her Skinnygirl liquor company to Beam Global (now Beam Suntory) for a reported $100 million.

The Housewife was by far the highest-earning reality star at the time, and she was also one of the top-paid celebrities of the year, with earnings of $55 million.

Bethenny Frankel earned $8.5 million last year thanks to her lucrative Skinnygirl brand. ( Evan . [+] Agostini/Invision/AP)

She will likely never rake in as much cash in one year as she did in 2011, but she is still one of the top-earning reality television stars: This year, Frankel—who returned to The Real Housewives of New York —made $8.5 million between June 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016. That makes her 2016’s sixth highest-paid reality star and the only real housewife (and person without the last name Kardashian or Jenner) to make our list.

But if she sold her Skinnygirl liquor five years ago, how is she so making so much more cash than her fellow Bravo Housewives, who FORBES estimates each make under $5 million (and in most cases, much less) a year?

It turns out that low-calorie margaritas may just be the gift that keeps on giving. Rather than accept the purchase of Skinnygirl as a lump sum of easy money, Frankel decided to bet on the business and continues to get payouts if Skinnygirl alcohol products sell well.

The self-made Frankel (she remembers being broke and “eating cartons of takeout rice two meals a day”) is onto something when she calls herself a good businesswoman, because that decision has paid off. Skinnygirl alcohol is reportedly one of the most successful reduced-calorie alcohol products. The original Skinnygirl Margarita's sales are up versus last year, according to Beam Suntory.

But she didn’t stop there. After all, this is the same woman who once told FORBES , “What’s the point of being on TV if you don’t have something to sell?”

So, sell she does. In the deal with Beam, Frankel smartly negotiated to keep the rights to the brand name “Skinnygirl” (a moniker viewers of the most recent season of Real Housewives of New York would know she is very protective of). This means she can use the powerful brand name to market other products.

“It would be great for Beam to sell Skinnygirl shot glasses as a complement to the cocktail,” she told FORBES . “But they can’t. Only I can.”

Gallery: America's Top-Earning Reality Stars 2016

So far, the name has been lent to granola bars, lunch meats, candies, shapewear and more, with some of these products available nationwide at stores like CVS and Walmart. She chooses her licensing deals based on what she, herself, would want to buy.

“It is important to know your message, identify your customer, and have a clear understanding of how to provide them what they need," she says. "As a woman that sits in the bullseye of the demographic we reach, I feel like I have a sense of what women want."

In each of these deals, Frankel gets a small percentage of sales as a royalty rate. While these products may not fly off the shelves like her original beverages, she likely gets both a signing fee and minimum guarantee for each deal.

“She really has created a brand,” says licensing expert Michael Stone, the cofounder of Beanstalk.

While alcohol makes up the largest part of her earnings, these products bolster it. So does her salary from Bravo (which neither the network nor Frankel would confirm, but FORBES estimates is north of $1 million), her appearances, her short-lived podcast, the television series Food Porn, which she produced, and her Instagram ads. Experts estimate she can command between $10,000 and $30,000 per paid post thanks to the highly-engaged fans she counts among her over 1.1 million followers on the app.

Frankel, seen here with the other cast members of The Real Housewives of New York, is the only . [+] non-Kardashian or Jenner to make FORBES' list of top-earning reality stars. (Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Frankel is far from the only Bravo-lebrity to come out with a food product, put her name on an article of clothing or post an Instagram ad. The difference is that she is the only one to make any real money off it. (Nene Leakes, who has a successful QVC line, may be the exception to that rule, but she was disqualified from the list of top-earning reality stars because she was not a regular cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta during our scoring period of June 1, 2105 to June 1, 2016).

There are a few reasons for this, one being the aforementioned deal with Beam. Because she owned her Skinnygirl alcohol company, she could cut a better deal with them than the typical licensing or marketing deal in terms of continued payouts.

The other Housewives’ deals are almost entirely licensing ones, such as Lisa Vanderpump’s jewelry line or Vicki Gunvalson’s perfume . (It is important to note that this story discusses earnings, not net-worth. While Vanderpump's restaurant empire or Gunvalson's insurance company, for example, may be worth quite a bit of money, they do not provide the same profit as Frankel's business.)

Design by Nick DeSantis, Forbes staff

Also, because of its reputable line of cocktails, Frankel’s brand has more value than those of other Housewives when she does make licensing deals. This reputation makes it easier to negotiate higher signing fees and minimum guarantee, and it also means consumers are more likely to trust the products.

“She is way out ahead of the other Housewives. They don’t even come close,” Stone says. “She has developed a brand the others have not really developed brands.

Still, Frankel and her Skinnygirl brand have had some misses--such as a discontinued skin care line--as have many of the other Housewives (fans can think back to Real Housewives of New York’s Sonja Morgan’s toaster ovens or Atlanta’ s Kim Zolciak’s wig line).

But failed reality star brands are nothing new: Take a look at President-elect Donald Trump. Back in his Apprentice days, Trump--who was on FORBES’ Celebrity 100 for the first time in 2004 as a reality star--had a number of failed products bearing his name, including Trump Steaks , Trump Vodka and Trump Magazine , among others .

In Frankel’s case, at least, a failed licensing deal does not mean game over, money-wise. As long as there remains drama on The Real Housewives of New York, she (and the viewers ) will need a drink .


Skinnygirl, Fat Wallet: How Bethenny Frankel Earns More Than Any Other Real Housewife

In 2011, Bethenny Frankel graced the cover of FORBES magazine’s annual Celebrity 100 issue. At the time, Frankel starred in her own series on Bravo, had just published her third best-selling book and had recently sold her Skinnygirl liquor company to Beam Global (now Beam Suntory) for a reported $100 million.

The Housewife was by far the highest-earning reality star at the time, and she was also one of the top-paid celebrities of the year, with earnings of $55 million.

Bethenny Frankel earned $8.5 million last year thanks to her lucrative Skinnygirl brand. ( Evan . [+] Agostini/Invision/AP)

She will likely never rake in as much cash in one year as she did in 2011, but she is still one of the top-earning reality television stars: This year, Frankel—who returned to The Real Housewives of New York —made $8.5 million between June 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016. That makes her 2016’s sixth highest-paid reality star and the only real housewife (and person without the last name Kardashian or Jenner) to make our list.

But if she sold her Skinnygirl liquor five years ago, how is she so making so much more cash than her fellow Bravo Housewives, who FORBES estimates each make under $5 million (and in most cases, much less) a year?

It turns out that low-calorie margaritas may just be the gift that keeps on giving. Rather than accept the purchase of Skinnygirl as a lump sum of easy money, Frankel decided to bet on the business and continues to get payouts if Skinnygirl alcohol products sell well.

The self-made Frankel (she remembers being broke and “eating cartons of takeout rice two meals a day”) is onto something when she calls herself a good businesswoman, because that decision has paid off. Skinnygirl alcohol is reportedly one of the most successful reduced-calorie alcohol products. The original Skinnygirl Margarita's sales are up versus last year, according to Beam Suntory.

But she didn’t stop there. After all, this is the same woman who once told FORBES , “What’s the point of being on TV if you don’t have something to sell?”

So, sell she does. In the deal with Beam, Frankel smartly negotiated to keep the rights to the brand name “Skinnygirl” (a moniker viewers of the most recent season of Real Housewives of New York would know she is very protective of). This means she can use the powerful brand name to market other products.

“It would be great for Beam to sell Skinnygirl shot glasses as a complement to the cocktail,” she told FORBES . “But they can’t. Only I can.”

Gallery: America's Top-Earning Reality Stars 2016

So far, the name has been lent to granola bars, lunch meats, candies, shapewear and more, with some of these products available nationwide at stores like CVS and Walmart. She chooses her licensing deals based on what she, herself, would want to buy.

“It is important to know your message, identify your customer, and have a clear understanding of how to provide them what they need," she says. "As a woman that sits in the bullseye of the demographic we reach, I feel like I have a sense of what women want."

In each of these deals, Frankel gets a small percentage of sales as a royalty rate. While these products may not fly off the shelves like her original beverages, she likely gets both a signing fee and minimum guarantee for each deal.

“She really has created a brand,” says licensing expert Michael Stone, the cofounder of Beanstalk.

While alcohol makes up the largest part of her earnings, these products bolster it. So does her salary from Bravo (which neither the network nor Frankel would confirm, but FORBES estimates is north of $1 million), her appearances, her short-lived podcast, the television series Food Porn, which she produced, and her Instagram ads. Experts estimate she can command between $10,000 and $30,000 per paid post thanks to the highly-engaged fans she counts among her over 1.1 million followers on the app.

Frankel, seen here with the other cast members of The Real Housewives of New York, is the only . [+] non-Kardashian or Jenner to make FORBES' list of top-earning reality stars. (Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Frankel is far from the only Bravo-lebrity to come out with a food product, put her name on an article of clothing or post an Instagram ad. The difference is that she is the only one to make any real money off it. (Nene Leakes, who has a successful QVC line, may be the exception to that rule, but she was disqualified from the list of top-earning reality stars because she was not a regular cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta during our scoring period of June 1, 2105 to June 1, 2016).

There are a few reasons for this, one being the aforementioned deal with Beam. Because she owned her Skinnygirl alcohol company, she could cut a better deal with them than the typical licensing or marketing deal in terms of continued payouts.

The other Housewives’ deals are almost entirely licensing ones, such as Lisa Vanderpump’s jewelry line or Vicki Gunvalson’s perfume . (It is important to note that this story discusses earnings, not net-worth. While Vanderpump's restaurant empire or Gunvalson's insurance company, for example, may be worth quite a bit of money, they do not provide the same profit as Frankel's business.)

Design by Nick DeSantis, Forbes staff

Also, because of its reputable line of cocktails, Frankel’s brand has more value than those of other Housewives when she does make licensing deals. This reputation makes it easier to negotiate higher signing fees and minimum guarantee, and it also means consumers are more likely to trust the products.

“She is way out ahead of the other Housewives. They don’t even come close,” Stone says. “She has developed a brand the others have not really developed brands.

Still, Frankel and her Skinnygirl brand have had some misses--such as a discontinued skin care line--as have many of the other Housewives (fans can think back to Real Housewives of New York’s Sonja Morgan’s toaster ovens or Atlanta’ s Kim Zolciak’s wig line).

But failed reality star brands are nothing new: Take a look at President-elect Donald Trump. Back in his Apprentice days, Trump--who was on FORBES’ Celebrity 100 for the first time in 2004 as a reality star--had a number of failed products bearing his name, including Trump Steaks , Trump Vodka and Trump Magazine , among others .

In Frankel’s case, at least, a failed licensing deal does not mean game over, money-wise. As long as there remains drama on The Real Housewives of New York, she (and the viewers ) will need a drink .


Skinnygirl, Fat Wallet: How Bethenny Frankel Earns More Than Any Other Real Housewife

In 2011, Bethenny Frankel graced the cover of FORBES magazine’s annual Celebrity 100 issue. At the time, Frankel starred in her own series on Bravo, had just published her third best-selling book and had recently sold her Skinnygirl liquor company to Beam Global (now Beam Suntory) for a reported $100 million.

The Housewife was by far the highest-earning reality star at the time, and she was also one of the top-paid celebrities of the year, with earnings of $55 million.

Bethenny Frankel earned $8.5 million last year thanks to her lucrative Skinnygirl brand. ( Evan . [+] Agostini/Invision/AP)

She will likely never rake in as much cash in one year as she did in 2011, but she is still one of the top-earning reality television stars: This year, Frankel—who returned to The Real Housewives of New York —made $8.5 million between June 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016. That makes her 2016’s sixth highest-paid reality star and the only real housewife (and person without the last name Kardashian or Jenner) to make our list.

But if she sold her Skinnygirl liquor five years ago, how is she so making so much more cash than her fellow Bravo Housewives, who FORBES estimates each make under $5 million (and in most cases, much less) a year?

It turns out that low-calorie margaritas may just be the gift that keeps on giving. Rather than accept the purchase of Skinnygirl as a lump sum of easy money, Frankel decided to bet on the business and continues to get payouts if Skinnygirl alcohol products sell well.

The self-made Frankel (she remembers being broke and “eating cartons of takeout rice two meals a day”) is onto something when she calls herself a good businesswoman, because that decision has paid off. Skinnygirl alcohol is reportedly one of the most successful reduced-calorie alcohol products. The original Skinnygirl Margarita's sales are up versus last year, according to Beam Suntory.

But she didn’t stop there. After all, this is the same woman who once told FORBES , “What’s the point of being on TV if you don’t have something to sell?”

So, sell she does. In the deal with Beam, Frankel smartly negotiated to keep the rights to the brand name “Skinnygirl” (a moniker viewers of the most recent season of Real Housewives of New York would know she is very protective of). This means she can use the powerful brand name to market other products.

“It would be great for Beam to sell Skinnygirl shot glasses as a complement to the cocktail,” she told FORBES . “But they can’t. Only I can.”

Gallery: America's Top-Earning Reality Stars 2016

So far, the name has been lent to granola bars, lunch meats, candies, shapewear and more, with some of these products available nationwide at stores like CVS and Walmart. She chooses her licensing deals based on what she, herself, would want to buy.

“It is important to know your message, identify your customer, and have a clear understanding of how to provide them what they need," she says. "As a woman that sits in the bullseye of the demographic we reach, I feel like I have a sense of what women want."

In each of these deals, Frankel gets a small percentage of sales as a royalty rate. While these products may not fly off the shelves like her original beverages, she likely gets both a signing fee and minimum guarantee for each deal.

“She really has created a brand,” says licensing expert Michael Stone, the cofounder of Beanstalk.

While alcohol makes up the largest part of her earnings, these products bolster it. So does her salary from Bravo (which neither the network nor Frankel would confirm, but FORBES estimates is north of $1 million), her appearances, her short-lived podcast, the television series Food Porn, which she produced, and her Instagram ads. Experts estimate she can command between $10,000 and $30,000 per paid post thanks to the highly-engaged fans she counts among her over 1.1 million followers on the app.

Frankel, seen here with the other cast members of The Real Housewives of New York, is the only . [+] non-Kardashian or Jenner to make FORBES' list of top-earning reality stars. (Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Frankel is far from the only Bravo-lebrity to come out with a food product, put her name on an article of clothing or post an Instagram ad. The difference is that she is the only one to make any real money off it. (Nene Leakes, who has a successful QVC line, may be the exception to that rule, but she was disqualified from the list of top-earning reality stars because she was not a regular cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta during our scoring period of June 1, 2105 to June 1, 2016).

There are a few reasons for this, one being the aforementioned deal with Beam. Because she owned her Skinnygirl alcohol company, she could cut a better deal with them than the typical licensing or marketing deal in terms of continued payouts.

The other Housewives’ deals are almost entirely licensing ones, such as Lisa Vanderpump’s jewelry line or Vicki Gunvalson’s perfume . (It is important to note that this story discusses earnings, not net-worth. While Vanderpump's restaurant empire or Gunvalson's insurance company, for example, may be worth quite a bit of money, they do not provide the same profit as Frankel's business.)

Design by Nick DeSantis, Forbes staff

Also, because of its reputable line of cocktails, Frankel’s brand has more value than those of other Housewives when she does make licensing deals. This reputation makes it easier to negotiate higher signing fees and minimum guarantee, and it also means consumers are more likely to trust the products.

“She is way out ahead of the other Housewives. They don’t even come close,” Stone says. “She has developed a brand the others have not really developed brands.

Still, Frankel and her Skinnygirl brand have had some misses--such as a discontinued skin care line--as have many of the other Housewives (fans can think back to Real Housewives of New York’s Sonja Morgan’s toaster ovens or Atlanta’ s Kim Zolciak’s wig line).

But failed reality star brands are nothing new: Take a look at President-elect Donald Trump. Back in his Apprentice days, Trump--who was on FORBES’ Celebrity 100 for the first time in 2004 as a reality star--had a number of failed products bearing his name, including Trump Steaks , Trump Vodka and Trump Magazine , among others .

In Frankel’s case, at least, a failed licensing deal does not mean game over, money-wise. As long as there remains drama on The Real Housewives of New York, she (and the viewers ) will need a drink .


Skinnygirl, Fat Wallet: How Bethenny Frankel Earns More Than Any Other Real Housewife

In 2011, Bethenny Frankel graced the cover of FORBES magazine’s annual Celebrity 100 issue. At the time, Frankel starred in her own series on Bravo, had just published her third best-selling book and had recently sold her Skinnygirl liquor company to Beam Global (now Beam Suntory) for a reported $100 million.

The Housewife was by far the highest-earning reality star at the time, and she was also one of the top-paid celebrities of the year, with earnings of $55 million.

Bethenny Frankel earned $8.5 million last year thanks to her lucrative Skinnygirl brand. ( Evan . [+] Agostini/Invision/AP)

She will likely never rake in as much cash in one year as she did in 2011, but she is still one of the top-earning reality television stars: This year, Frankel—who returned to The Real Housewives of New York —made $8.5 million between June 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016. That makes her 2016’s sixth highest-paid reality star and the only real housewife (and person without the last name Kardashian or Jenner) to make our list.

But if she sold her Skinnygirl liquor five years ago, how is she so making so much more cash than her fellow Bravo Housewives, who FORBES estimates each make under $5 million (and in most cases, much less) a year?

It turns out that low-calorie margaritas may just be the gift that keeps on giving. Rather than accept the purchase of Skinnygirl as a lump sum of easy money, Frankel decided to bet on the business and continues to get payouts if Skinnygirl alcohol products sell well.

The self-made Frankel (she remembers being broke and “eating cartons of takeout rice two meals a day”) is onto something when she calls herself a good businesswoman, because that decision has paid off. Skinnygirl alcohol is reportedly one of the most successful reduced-calorie alcohol products. The original Skinnygirl Margarita's sales are up versus last year, according to Beam Suntory.

But she didn’t stop there. After all, this is the same woman who once told FORBES , “What’s the point of being on TV if you don’t have something to sell?”

So, sell she does. In the deal with Beam, Frankel smartly negotiated to keep the rights to the brand name “Skinnygirl” (a moniker viewers of the most recent season of Real Housewives of New York would know she is very protective of). This means she can use the powerful brand name to market other products.

“It would be great for Beam to sell Skinnygirl shot glasses as a complement to the cocktail,” she told FORBES . “But they can’t. Only I can.”

Gallery: America's Top-Earning Reality Stars 2016

So far, the name has been lent to granola bars, lunch meats, candies, shapewear and more, with some of these products available nationwide at stores like CVS and Walmart. She chooses her licensing deals based on what she, herself, would want to buy.

“It is important to know your message, identify your customer, and have a clear understanding of how to provide them what they need," she says. "As a woman that sits in the bullseye of the demographic we reach, I feel like I have a sense of what women want."

In each of these deals, Frankel gets a small percentage of sales as a royalty rate. While these products may not fly off the shelves like her original beverages, she likely gets both a signing fee and minimum guarantee for each deal.

“She really has created a brand,” says licensing expert Michael Stone, the cofounder of Beanstalk.

While alcohol makes up the largest part of her earnings, these products bolster it. So does her salary from Bravo (which neither the network nor Frankel would confirm, but FORBES estimates is north of $1 million), her appearances, her short-lived podcast, the television series Food Porn, which she produced, and her Instagram ads. Experts estimate she can command between $10,000 and $30,000 per paid post thanks to the highly-engaged fans she counts among her over 1.1 million followers on the app.

Frankel, seen here with the other cast members of The Real Housewives of New York, is the only . [+] non-Kardashian or Jenner to make FORBES' list of top-earning reality stars. (Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Frankel is far from the only Bravo-lebrity to come out with a food product, put her name on an article of clothing or post an Instagram ad. The difference is that she is the only one to make any real money off it. (Nene Leakes, who has a successful QVC line, may be the exception to that rule, but she was disqualified from the list of top-earning reality stars because she was not a regular cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta during our scoring period of June 1, 2105 to June 1, 2016).

There are a few reasons for this, one being the aforementioned deal with Beam. Because she owned her Skinnygirl alcohol company, she could cut a better deal with them than the typical licensing or marketing deal in terms of continued payouts.

The other Housewives’ deals are almost entirely licensing ones, such as Lisa Vanderpump’s jewelry line or Vicki Gunvalson’s perfume . (It is important to note that this story discusses earnings, not net-worth. While Vanderpump's restaurant empire or Gunvalson's insurance company, for example, may be worth quite a bit of money, they do not provide the same profit as Frankel's business.)

Design by Nick DeSantis, Forbes staff

Also, because of its reputable line of cocktails, Frankel’s brand has more value than those of other Housewives when she does make licensing deals. This reputation makes it easier to negotiate higher signing fees and minimum guarantee, and it also means consumers are more likely to trust the products.

“She is way out ahead of the other Housewives. They don’t even come close,” Stone says. “She has developed a brand the others have not really developed brands.

Still, Frankel and her Skinnygirl brand have had some misses--such as a discontinued skin care line--as have many of the other Housewives (fans can think back to Real Housewives of New York’s Sonja Morgan’s toaster ovens or Atlanta’ s Kim Zolciak’s wig line).

But failed reality star brands are nothing new: Take a look at President-elect Donald Trump. Back in his Apprentice days, Trump--who was on FORBES’ Celebrity 100 for the first time in 2004 as a reality star--had a number of failed products bearing his name, including Trump Steaks , Trump Vodka and Trump Magazine , among others .

In Frankel’s case, at least, a failed licensing deal does not mean game over, money-wise. As long as there remains drama on The Real Housewives of New York, she (and the viewers ) will need a drink .


Skinnygirl, Fat Wallet: How Bethenny Frankel Earns More Than Any Other Real Housewife

In 2011, Bethenny Frankel graced the cover of FORBES magazine’s annual Celebrity 100 issue. At the time, Frankel starred in her own series on Bravo, had just published her third best-selling book and had recently sold her Skinnygirl liquor company to Beam Global (now Beam Suntory) for a reported $100 million.

The Housewife was by far the highest-earning reality star at the time, and she was also one of the top-paid celebrities of the year, with earnings of $55 million.

Bethenny Frankel earned $8.5 million last year thanks to her lucrative Skinnygirl brand. ( Evan . [+] Agostini/Invision/AP)

She will likely never rake in as much cash in one year as she did in 2011, but she is still one of the top-earning reality television stars: This year, Frankel—who returned to The Real Housewives of New York —made $8.5 million between June 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016. That makes her 2016’s sixth highest-paid reality star and the only real housewife (and person without the last name Kardashian or Jenner) to make our list.

But if she sold her Skinnygirl liquor five years ago, how is she so making so much more cash than her fellow Bravo Housewives, who FORBES estimates each make under $5 million (and in most cases, much less) a year?

It turns out that low-calorie margaritas may just be the gift that keeps on giving. Rather than accept the purchase of Skinnygirl as a lump sum of easy money, Frankel decided to bet on the business and continues to get payouts if Skinnygirl alcohol products sell well.

The self-made Frankel (she remembers being broke and “eating cartons of takeout rice two meals a day”) is onto something when she calls herself a good businesswoman, because that decision has paid off. Skinnygirl alcohol is reportedly one of the most successful reduced-calorie alcohol products. The original Skinnygirl Margarita's sales are up versus last year, according to Beam Suntory.

But she didn’t stop there. After all, this is the same woman who once told FORBES , “What’s the point of being on TV if you don’t have something to sell?”

So, sell she does. In the deal with Beam, Frankel smartly negotiated to keep the rights to the brand name “Skinnygirl” (a moniker viewers of the most recent season of Real Housewives of New York would know she is very protective of). This means she can use the powerful brand name to market other products.

“It would be great for Beam to sell Skinnygirl shot glasses as a complement to the cocktail,” she told FORBES . “But they can’t. Only I can.”

Gallery: America's Top-Earning Reality Stars 2016

So far, the name has been lent to granola bars, lunch meats, candies, shapewear and more, with some of these products available nationwide at stores like CVS and Walmart. She chooses her licensing deals based on what she, herself, would want to buy.

“It is important to know your message, identify your customer, and have a clear understanding of how to provide them what they need," she says. "As a woman that sits in the bullseye of the demographic we reach, I feel like I have a sense of what women want."

In each of these deals, Frankel gets a small percentage of sales as a royalty rate. While these products may not fly off the shelves like her original beverages, she likely gets both a signing fee and minimum guarantee for each deal.

“She really has created a brand,” says licensing expert Michael Stone, the cofounder of Beanstalk.

While alcohol makes up the largest part of her earnings, these products bolster it. So does her salary from Bravo (which neither the network nor Frankel would confirm, but FORBES estimates is north of $1 million), her appearances, her short-lived podcast, the television series Food Porn, which she produced, and her Instagram ads. Experts estimate she can command between $10,000 and $30,000 per paid post thanks to the highly-engaged fans she counts among her over 1.1 million followers on the app.

Frankel, seen here with the other cast members of The Real Housewives of New York, is the only . [+] non-Kardashian or Jenner to make FORBES' list of top-earning reality stars. (Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Frankel is far from the only Bravo-lebrity to come out with a food product, put her name on an article of clothing or post an Instagram ad. The difference is that she is the only one to make any real money off it. (Nene Leakes, who has a successful QVC line, may be the exception to that rule, but she was disqualified from the list of top-earning reality stars because she was not a regular cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta during our scoring period of June 1, 2105 to June 1, 2016).

There are a few reasons for this, one being the aforementioned deal with Beam. Because she owned her Skinnygirl alcohol company, she could cut a better deal with them than the typical licensing or marketing deal in terms of continued payouts.

The other Housewives’ deals are almost entirely licensing ones, such as Lisa Vanderpump’s jewelry line or Vicki Gunvalson’s perfume . (It is important to note that this story discusses earnings, not net-worth. While Vanderpump's restaurant empire or Gunvalson's insurance company, for example, may be worth quite a bit of money, they do not provide the same profit as Frankel's business.)

Design by Nick DeSantis, Forbes staff

Also, because of its reputable line of cocktails, Frankel’s brand has more value than those of other Housewives when she does make licensing deals. This reputation makes it easier to negotiate higher signing fees and minimum guarantee, and it also means consumers are more likely to trust the products.

“She is way out ahead of the other Housewives. They don’t even come close,” Stone says. “She has developed a brand the others have not really developed brands.

Still, Frankel and her Skinnygirl brand have had some misses--such as a discontinued skin care line--as have many of the other Housewives (fans can think back to Real Housewives of New York’s Sonja Morgan’s toaster ovens or Atlanta’ s Kim Zolciak’s wig line).

But failed reality star brands are nothing new: Take a look at President-elect Donald Trump. Back in his Apprentice days, Trump--who was on FORBES’ Celebrity 100 for the first time in 2004 as a reality star--had a number of failed products bearing his name, including Trump Steaks , Trump Vodka and Trump Magazine , among others .

In Frankel’s case, at least, a failed licensing deal does not mean game over, money-wise. As long as there remains drama on The Real Housewives of New York, she (and the viewers ) will need a drink .


Skinnygirl, Fat Wallet: How Bethenny Frankel Earns More Than Any Other Real Housewife

In 2011, Bethenny Frankel graced the cover of FORBES magazine’s annual Celebrity 100 issue. At the time, Frankel starred in her own series on Bravo, had just published her third best-selling book and had recently sold her Skinnygirl liquor company to Beam Global (now Beam Suntory) for a reported $100 million.

The Housewife was by far the highest-earning reality star at the time, and she was also one of the top-paid celebrities of the year, with earnings of $55 million.

Bethenny Frankel earned $8.5 million last year thanks to her lucrative Skinnygirl brand. ( Evan . [+] Agostini/Invision/AP)

She will likely never rake in as much cash in one year as she did in 2011, but she is still one of the top-earning reality television stars: This year, Frankel—who returned to The Real Housewives of New York —made $8.5 million between June 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016. That makes her 2016’s sixth highest-paid reality star and the only real housewife (and person without the last name Kardashian or Jenner) to make our list.

But if she sold her Skinnygirl liquor five years ago, how is she so making so much more cash than her fellow Bravo Housewives, who FORBES estimates each make under $5 million (and in most cases, much less) a year?

It turns out that low-calorie margaritas may just be the gift that keeps on giving. Rather than accept the purchase of Skinnygirl as a lump sum of easy money, Frankel decided to bet on the business and continues to get payouts if Skinnygirl alcohol products sell well.

The self-made Frankel (she remembers being broke and “eating cartons of takeout rice two meals a day”) is onto something when she calls herself a good businesswoman, because that decision has paid off. Skinnygirl alcohol is reportedly one of the most successful reduced-calorie alcohol products. The original Skinnygirl Margarita's sales are up versus last year, according to Beam Suntory.

But she didn’t stop there. After all, this is the same woman who once told FORBES , “What’s the point of being on TV if you don’t have something to sell?”

So, sell she does. In the deal with Beam, Frankel smartly negotiated to keep the rights to the brand name “Skinnygirl” (a moniker viewers of the most recent season of Real Housewives of New York would know she is very protective of). This means she can use the powerful brand name to market other products.

“It would be great for Beam to sell Skinnygirl shot glasses as a complement to the cocktail,” she told FORBES . “But they can’t. Only I can.”

Gallery: America's Top-Earning Reality Stars 2016

So far, the name has been lent to granola bars, lunch meats, candies, shapewear and more, with some of these products available nationwide at stores like CVS and Walmart. She chooses her licensing deals based on what she, herself, would want to buy.

“It is important to know your message, identify your customer, and have a clear understanding of how to provide them what they need," she says. "As a woman that sits in the bullseye of the demographic we reach, I feel like I have a sense of what women want."

In each of these deals, Frankel gets a small percentage of sales as a royalty rate. While these products may not fly off the shelves like her original beverages, she likely gets both a signing fee and minimum guarantee for each deal.

“She really has created a brand,” says licensing expert Michael Stone, the cofounder of Beanstalk.

While alcohol makes up the largest part of her earnings, these products bolster it. So does her salary from Bravo (which neither the network nor Frankel would confirm, but FORBES estimates is north of $1 million), her appearances, her short-lived podcast, the television series Food Porn, which she produced, and her Instagram ads. Experts estimate she can command between $10,000 and $30,000 per paid post thanks to the highly-engaged fans she counts among her over 1.1 million followers on the app.

Frankel, seen here with the other cast members of The Real Housewives of New York, is the only . [+] non-Kardashian or Jenner to make FORBES' list of top-earning reality stars. (Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Frankel is far from the only Bravo-lebrity to come out with a food product, put her name on an article of clothing or post an Instagram ad. The difference is that she is the only one to make any real money off it. (Nene Leakes, who has a successful QVC line, may be the exception to that rule, but she was disqualified from the list of top-earning reality stars because she was not a regular cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta during our scoring period of June 1, 2105 to June 1, 2016).

There are a few reasons for this, one being the aforementioned deal with Beam. Because she owned her Skinnygirl alcohol company, she could cut a better deal with them than the typical licensing or marketing deal in terms of continued payouts.

The other Housewives’ deals are almost entirely licensing ones, such as Lisa Vanderpump’s jewelry line or Vicki Gunvalson’s perfume . (It is important to note that this story discusses earnings, not net-worth. While Vanderpump's restaurant empire or Gunvalson's insurance company, for example, may be worth quite a bit of money, they do not provide the same profit as Frankel's business.)

Design by Nick DeSantis, Forbes staff

Also, because of its reputable line of cocktails, Frankel’s brand has more value than those of other Housewives when she does make licensing deals. This reputation makes it easier to negotiate higher signing fees and minimum guarantee, and it also means consumers are more likely to trust the products.

“She is way out ahead of the other Housewives. They don’t even come close,” Stone says. “She has developed a brand the others have not really developed brands.

Still, Frankel and her Skinnygirl brand have had some misses--such as a discontinued skin care line--as have many of the other Housewives (fans can think back to Real Housewives of New York’s Sonja Morgan’s toaster ovens or Atlanta’ s Kim Zolciak’s wig line).

But failed reality star brands are nothing new: Take a look at President-elect Donald Trump. Back in his Apprentice days, Trump--who was on FORBES’ Celebrity 100 for the first time in 2004 as a reality star--had a number of failed products bearing his name, including Trump Steaks , Trump Vodka and Trump Magazine , among others .

In Frankel’s case, at least, a failed licensing deal does not mean game over, money-wise. As long as there remains drama on The Real Housewives of New York, she (and the viewers ) will need a drink .