Why you should pack non-alcoholic drinks for your day at the badi

With the long, cold winter behind us, it's time to start thinking about summer days. When the heat settles in and we're all desperate to cool down, it will be time to head for the badi. For most of us, a picnic is a non-negotiable part of the day. Relaxing on a picnic blanket with a delicious meal and something bubbly to drink while the kids splash about in the water. What could be better? We're taking a look at why we love badis here in Switzerland. We also have a badi daysack packing list for you, and we'll let you know why non-alcoholic drinks should be near the top of your list. Of course, we're on hand with some recommendations of which drinks to take as well.


Lake Lavaux in Switzerland with road beside and badi spots available for swimmers shown from hillside with green hill sloping down to road and lake


Why is the badi such a great day out?  


Lakes and rivers around Switzerland welcome bathers. Costing between absolutely nothing and around CHF 10 per person, the popular badis make a fun, cheap day out. So, why not grab a picnic and head for the water?


Switzerland's natural bathing pools are renowned throughout Europe for their cleanliness. With our clear water, litter-free lake shores and stunning views, it's no surprise that everyone treats the lakes and rivers like a beach. Whilst it is possible to swim in other areas, the badis offer a safe spot. Some have lifeguards on duty, but others are just designated bathing areas. It is always sensible to head to one of these rather than take your chances in water that you don't know, particularly in rivers. Whilst the water is clean, you can't always see hazards and currents below the surface.


With that in mind, heading to the badi combines fun and safety. These popular bathing areas tend to be beside open expanses of shoreline, where visitors spend many hours. Dip into the water multiple times to cool off, splash about with the kids or enjoy a romantic stroll as a couple. For many of us, a trip to the badi lasts many hours, so packing a day bag is a must. You'll want drinks to stay hydrated, some food and definitely a first aid kit. Whilst a bottle of water would hit the spot when it comes to hydration, why not posh up your picnic with alcohol-free wine instead?


People knocking together glasses of red wine outside on a sunny day


Packing list for a day at the badi


Before we get distracted by an upmarket picnic, let's take a look at the packing essentials that you're going to want to bring to the badi. Some of these are absolute non-negotiables. Others are optional, but I've put them on the list for food for thought.


  • First aid kit
  • Bathing costume
  • Towel
  • Warm clothing for after your swim
  • Picnic blanket
  • Change of clothes
  • Snacks
  • A full picnic hamper if you'll be there during a mealtime
  • Plenty of water
  • Alcohol-free wine or spirits
  • Bin bag
  • Cash or a card
  • Camera or smartphone
  • Beach chairs
  • A ball, frisbee or outdoor game
  • Cool box or bag with ice
  • Beach umbrella
  • Windbreak
  • Plates
  • Napkins
  • Cutlery
  • Sun hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Bug repellent
  • Barbecue food and equipment if your badi has barbecues available
  • Sun cream, hand sanitiser or wipes


Why you should pack non-alcoholic drinks for your day at the badi


You've seen me mention non-alcoholic drinks a couple of times. So, why not just take wine or beer? Well, there are a few reasons why this isn't generally a great idea.


If you've got a day at the badi planned, the temperature is probably somewhere between hot and absolutely scorching. You may or may not manage to find some shade to sit in. either way, you're going to get warm. Sunstroke and dehydration are possible even when you're spending lots of time in the water and you're coated in sun cream. In fact, they have a tendency to creep up on you. Especially when consuming alcohol.


But I get it. Any picnic is going to be more enjoyable with a tasty bottle of wine to enjoy. Sparkling Chardonnay and sparkling rosé are my particular favourites on a sunny day. Not to mention a refreshing, chilled gin and tonic. Plenty of ice and lime for me please.


That's why, along with a few litres of water, I advise packing some high-quality alcohol-free wine. Perhaps some cans of Pentire and tonic, or simply take a bottle of Adrift or Seaward and your favourite mixer. Pre-slice your lemon or lime before you go so you're not attempting to cut it while sitting on a picnic blanket. Will you miss the alcohol? I highly doubt it.

Bottle of alcohol-free Pentire Seaward on a wooden outdoor table beside a hand holding a tall glass of Seaward and tonic that is resting on the table. Drink is garnished with a sprig of rosemary.


Which alcohol-free drinks are best for your badi day?


The non-alcoholic drinks you pack for a day at the badi don't depend entirely on your preferences. If you don't have a cool bag available, skip straight to the section for whiskey connoisseurs. Can't carry a glass bottle? You're going to need the section for gin drinkers.


For wine lovers


You're going to want to keep all of these non-alcoholic wines cold in a chilled hamper, cool bag or wine cooler. Yes, even the red! Noughty advise enjoying it the modern way - lightly chilled. They advise 30 minutes in the fridge before serving, so not as cold as you'll want the white or rosé but well below summer's day room temperature.


  • Noughty Organic Sparkling Chardonnay: Gently dealcoholized at low temperatures to retain the flavour you would expect from a Chardonnay. Lightly carbonated with no added sugar or artificial flavours.
  • Noughty Organic Sparkling Rosé: Traditionally produced rosé wine de-alcoholised and lightly carbonated. Retains the true flavour of rosé. Low in sugar and calories.
  • Noughty Dealcoholized Rouge: A great alternative to an elegant red wine. Well balanced, deep ruby red, hints of crushed pepper, red fruit, rose petal, cherries and oak tannins.


For gin drinkers


As a gin drinker looking for a non-alcoholic alternative, you can do MUCH better than a bog standard alcohol-free gin. Allow me to introduce Pentire. This delicious distilled spirit is made from plants found growing wild on the Cornish headlands. With no alcohol or juniper, it doesn't try to be gin. Instead, it has its own unique flavour based on a love of being outside and active. With two varieties available, this is ideal for a badi picnic.


If you don't fancy carrying glass around, grab some cans of Pentire & Tonic to take with you. If your picnic hamper is capable of safely housing glass, we suggest a gift set of Adrift and Seaward, along with a decent tonic of your choice.


For whiskey connoisseurs


You didn't think we'd have an alcohol-free alternative to whiskey did you? Well, you are right! But we have something better instead. Feragaia is a distilled Scottish spirit created from land and sea botanicals. Its name means "wild earth" and if you could bottle nature, we're pretty sure it would taste something like this.


Enjoy Feragaia straight over ice, with s generous squeeze of lime savouring the warming aftertaste you might expect from another distilled Scottish spirit. Or, mix it with lemonade, tonic or ginger ale for a longer drink to enjoy beside the badi with a picnic.


For aperitif fans


We have two alcohol-free alternatives to Aperitif for you to enjoy. We suggest savouring these before your picnic as the traditional palate cleanser.


  • Wilfred's : Bitter-sweet, alcohol free and created from an unusual blend of rhubarb, clove and orange. Free from alcohol, allergens, sweeteners, artificial colours and flavours. Vegan friendly and low calorie. Fancy a cocktail by the badi? Mix Wilfred's and Pentire Seaward, top with Noughty alcohol-free chardonnay and enjoy .
  • APRTF: Beautifully balanced, bitter alcohol-free aperitif. With flavours from cranberry, wormwood and bitter orange. Just 10 calories and 1.4g of sugar per serving. Enjoy an alcohol-free APRTF spritz with equal parts APRTF and soda water, topped up with Noughty alcohol-free sparkling rosé and garnished with an orange wedge.