As a child, I detested beets and sweet potatoes! It wasn't until I was expecting my son that I grew to love and not get enough of both. I've tried many beet pickles but lean more to the hot, cinnamon side than the sweet. With years of practice I perfected beet pickles. The secret ingredient is red hots, or those little cinnamon candies. I also use a mix of white AND apple cider vinegar.
1Trim and wash beets. Place whole beets in a pan of water to boil for about 15-20 minutes. The skin will start to slip off the beets. Don't cook them all the way through.
2Remove beets from heat, allow to drain and cool. Using your fingers, peel the skin from the beet. Cut off the top and cut into 1/2" dice.
3Tie the spices up in a piece of cheesecloth. Combine sugar, vinegars and red hots (candies) and bring to a boil on the stove. Stir all the time as the red hots will try to stick on the bottom. They will dissolve.
4Place diced beets in pint sized sterilzed canning jars leaving 1/2" headspace. Ladle hot brine into jars to come up to the 1/2" headspace. Use a plastic spoon to remove any air bubbles. Clean off the rims of the jars. Process in a hot water bath for 30 minutes.