Wash 8 pint or 4 quart canning jars with hot soapy water and rinse, or run them through the dishwasher.
Trim the ends of the beans. Bring to a boil the vinegar, water, sugar and salt.
In the bottom of each jar, put the peppercorns, garlic cloves and basil leaves, then pack them with beans, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Fill the jars with the hot brine, leaving 1/2 inch. Wipe the jar rims and seal. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath (20 minutes for quarts). Wait about 4 weeks before opening to let the flavors blend and deepen.
Makes 4 quarts.
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