Bring water to a boil.
Add sugar, let dissolve, then add vinegar.
Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.
Allow liquid to cool completely or to rest overnight.
Strain out ingredients only when ready to use.
Core apples and slice into rings, 1/8-inch thickness.
Submerge in sweet pickling liquid for 2 hours.
Peel cucumbers lengthwise, leaving thin strips of green skin every 1/4 inch.
Slice to 1/4-inch thickness.
Submerge in sweet pickling liquid for at least 2 hours.