Hearts will go into the New Year seven points of their Capital rivals thanks to a stunning first half goal from midfielder Olly Lee.
The former Luton Town player looked like posing little danger as he took Sean Clare's knockdown with his back to goal as he was shepherded by Hibs skipper. But he turned okn a sixpence to send an unsavable shot beyond goalkeeper Adam Bogdan from 22 yards.
After being second best for much of the first half Hibs fouight back and twice hit the woodwork through Oli Shaw and Steven Whittaker before Hearts clocked up the first away derby win from either side in 15 attempts.
Both sides created half-chances in the opening 20 minutes, Steven Naismith cushioning a header from Lee's cross into the path of Peter Haring only for the ball to run away from the Hearts midfielder before Hibs striker Oli Shaw got his head to Daryl Horgan's cross but headed over..
Colin Doyle was the first of the goalkeepers to be called into action, the Hearts man getting down at his left hand post to collect Efe Ambrose's effort while, at the other end, Lee's corner found Michael Smith in acres of space within Hibs penalty area. He had time to try a chip to the far corner but Hibs keeper Adam Bogdan was alert to the danger.
Hibs had looked lightweight in the middle of the park where Haring and Arnaud Djoum had the upper hand and the Gorgie outfit took the lead in spectacular style in the 28th minute. Sean Clare nodded the ball down for Lee who had his back to goal and looked well marshalled by Paul Hanlon but he wheeled to crack a superb shot from 22 yards which flew past Bogdan and into the top right hand corner of his net.
Hearts went in search of a second goal immediately on the restart, Naismith putting Darren McGregor under pressure following Clare's flick, the Scotland striker managing to get in a shot which Bogdan parried at his near post.
Hibs came within inches of equalising five minut=es later, Shaw gathering McGregor's knockdown before firing in a rising shot which clipped the top of the cross bar before Sean Mackie fired in a powerful effort but straight at Doyle.
Clare had an opportunity to wrap it up for the Jambos 20 minutes from time when he was set free only to shoot straight into the arms of Bogdan.
Hibs were beginning to see more of the ball without causing the Gorgie outfit too many problems although they enjoyed a huge slice of luck 11 minutes from time when Whittaker crashed off the inside of Doyle's right hand post and flashed across the goal-line without crossing it.
Hibs: Bogdan, Ambrose, McGregor, Hanlon, Whittaker, Slivka (Gray 72), Mallan, Horgan (Hyndman (61), Mackie, Shaw, Kamberi.
Substitutes not used: Dabrowski, Bartley, Gullan, Allan, Campbell.
Hearts: Doyle, Smith, Berra, Dkamona, Godinho, Lee (Mulraney 82), Haring (Bozanic 53), Djoum, Garuccio, Clare, Naismith.
Substitutes not used: Zlamal, Mitchell, Hughes, MacLean, Morrison.
Referee: Kevin Clancy