Thinly slice the jalapeno peppers using a sharp knife or mandolin. Discard the stems. Set the slices aside.
In a medium non-reactive pot, bring the remaining ingredients to a boil.
Stir in the jalapeno slices and remove the pan from the heat. Allow to cool for approximately 5 minutes or until the peppers begin to take on an olive green color.
Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the jalapeno slices to a clean storage jar. Strain the pickling liquid into the jar filling adequately to cover the jalapeno slices.
Close the jar and store in the refrigerator.
Allow about a week for full flavors to develop. Best used within two months.
Makes 1 standard pint jar of pickled jalapenos.
I always recommend wearing disposable gloves when working with hot peppers. The oils can remain on your skin for several hours and can transfer to your mouth, nose, and eyes if touched.
You may substitute honey for sugar if desired.
Adjust the sweetener to your taste. The sweetener mutes the heat of the peppers, so the more you use the more muted the peppers will be. If you like a lot of heat, go with just 1 tablespoon. I like the heat fairly muted so I use 3 tablespoons.
The garlic may be removed before transferring the jalapenos to the jar for a milder flavor.
You can use your pickled jalapenos immediately but full flavors won’t develop until about a week later. Lasts several months in the refrigerator.