1. Use a traditional zester for spiral cocktail garnishes. The original "zester" looks like a small claw with tin teeth or sharp holes. This creates thin strips of peel for garnishing drinks.
When a recipe calls for zest, it means finely minced or grated peel instead. You can use this tool, but you'll need to chop the peel finely afterward.
A traditional lemon twist is actually easier to make with a vegetable peeler, as described below.
2. Wash the lemon. Scrub the lemon surface with hot, soapy water.
3. Run the zester across the lemon in long strips. Press the teeth of the zester against the skin and drag it across the lemon. For decorative, extra long strips, rotate the lemon as you go.