Silver ones specifically, in case it matters!
Depends on how soft the fondant is. If I've just applied the fondant, I normally just stick them in and they stay.
Brushing the fondant with vodka works well also, just don't use too much.
Piping gel works well also, but be careful you do not apply too much.
Water I have found tends to strip the dragees of their color and they slide around too much.
Hope this helps.
My vote is for clear piping gel, but as already suggested DONT USE TOO MUCH. Just a tiny, tiny dot will do, otherwise you will have shiny spots (I learned that the hard way!)
OR, if you have some buttercream the same color as your fondant, you could use a tiny bit of that. That way if you make a mistake and use too much, it will kind of blend in with the fondant.
I use the tiniest dab of water from a paintbrush, and that has always worked well for me! You could also do the same with clear vanilla!
Oh! I recently saw something called a waterbrush on Global Sugar Art. It's like a pen you fill with water with what looks like a felt tip. If I was going to do this with water I would try that pen if I had time to get it. Looks like a good way to apply just the moisture needed without the accidental drip of water.
i've used craft tweezers to dip them in the tiniest bit of corn syrup.
if i'm placing quite a few, i just pour some of the syrup onto a plate or into a tiny cup.
Vodka. Dries clear - no marks or shiney spots.
I do just like mrsbriggs....I use cornsyrup and dab just the teensiest bit of the dragee into it using tweezers, sometimes I even blot it on a clean section of a paper plate or something and then stick onto the cake. The corn syrup dries and literally "sets" the dragee onto the fondant making it difficult to even pluck/brush off unless you're meaning to.
I just used a little squeeze of royal icing. Here is a pic of the cake I did that way.
oh-- & another thought-- for those teeny tiny ones, i'll push one end of a toothpick 'flat' on a hard surface, then dip that end into just a touch of corn syrup, then touch to a dragee to pick it up. use another toothpick to place a small dot on the cake, the dragee will cling to that & come off toothpick #1.