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Cut the cucumbers: Wash cucumbers into and cut into ¼ inch (1/2 cm) slices or for spears, cut each cucumber into four pieces lengthwise.
Prepare the pickling jar: Add cut cucumbers to a jar tall enough to stand spears (if using) with some room above for brine. Add dill or other desired herbs, mustard seeds, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
Prepare and add the brine: In a medium saucepan bring the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil. Once boiling, pour into the jar until the liquid completely submerges the cucumbers. Close the lid on the jar tightly.
Pickling instructions: Let the jar cool on the counter until it reaches room temperature. Once cooled, put the jar into the refrigerator and let the cucumbers pickle for at least two hours before serving, but for best results serve after at least 24 hours. Quick pickled cucumbers are good up to one month in the refrigerator.