Remove the core of the cabbage and slice it into quarters. Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice the cabbage into thin pieces. Divide cabbage pieces evenly into two large glass jars (I used 16 oz mason jars).
In a small bowl, whisk together the water, vinegar, and sugar. Use the side of a large chef's knife to smash the garlic cloves. Add smashed garlic cloves, bay leaves, and sea salt to the brine.
Pour half of the brine into each jar so that they have equal amounts of liquid, garlic cloves, and bay leaves. The brine will not cover the cabbage pieces entirely, and may only come up to the middle of the jar. Seal the jars tightly and leave them at room temperature for 3.5 to 4 hours.
After 3.5 to 4 hours, transfer the jars to fridge. Enjoy the final product once it has cooled. It can usually last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Feel free to experiment with the combination of spices and seasonings in your brine! You can also sub green cabbage for red cabbage if desired. Store tightly sealed in the fridge for up to two weeks.