There are a couple of tools that you will need to create really attractive garnishes. The first is a really good bar knife and the second is a paring knife.
With the bar knife you can cut fruit and vegetables into any shape you want. The paring knife is used to make citrus rind curls called corkscrew twists
Corkscrew twists have almost become the measure of what makes a bartender more than a bartender, but rather a bartender chef! The longer your rind curls, the defter you are considered to be with the knife. A rind curl is a long spiral, slinky shaped piece of rind that can be dropped right into the cocktail or draped on the side of it. Basically, you use your paring knife to peel the rind from the fruit and keep peeling from the top around from the bottom to achieve the longest “slinky” shape you can. Some bars serve rind curls that are four to six inches long!
Your paring knife can also be used to shave chocolate curls into a chocolate drink or cucumber curls into a martini.
Another trend is to feather the ends of vegetables such as celery and carrots before you stick them in Bloody Caesars or Bloody Mary’s or fashion them into a kind of a spear that you can then use to stab an olive or cherry tomato.
If you are really creative, you can also make cookie cutters part of your cocktail garnish tool set. Small cookie cutters can be pressed into any vegetable that is sliced laterally and flat enough so that you can create a shape.
Another imaginative way to garnish your drinks, is to freeze the garnish inside ice cube trays and then throw them into the drink. This especially works well with small bead like fruits such a cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, melon balls and olives
To make your own flavored sugars to “frost” your specialty cocktails all you need to do is mix up three tablespoons of a liqueur, beverage or other flavoring to one cup of sugar and crush it to a fine dust in a blender. For instance if you wanted to make a cranberry frosting for cosmopolitans you would add three tablespoons of Cranberry juice cocktail to one cup sugar. To make a lemon frosting, add three table spoons lemonade.
As you can see it is quite easy to be really creative when decorating cocktails with fruits and vegetables. Virtually the sky is the limit when it comes to creating a something that truly will have your stamp of originality on it.