Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Gin Cocktails

Bitter Hearts Know Better

reddish-pink Bitter Hearts Know Better cocktail in a coupe glass with a pink sugared rim
Image: / Tim Nusog

Cupid might know the way to your heart, but he’s got crummy taste in adult beverages. Valentine’s Day drinks tend to be sweet and sticky, more candy than cocktail. Not so with this simple, pink-hued spin on the classic Gimlet.

The Gimlet is made with a trio of ingredients: gin, lime juice and simple syrup. The Bitter Hearts Know Better features hibiscus-infused gin, lime juice and simple syrup, plus a dose of gentian amaro, which gives the drink a light, herbal bitterness that’s in step with its name.

The hibiscus gin is responsible for that gorgeous color, and it can easily be created at home by adding dried hibiscus flowers to a bottle of gin. The gentian amaro in this recipe comes from California-based Lo-Fi, which merges white wine and grape spirits with gentian root, cinchona bark, hibiscus, ginger, anise and other flavors, adding a refreshing fruit character and crisp bitterness to the cocktail while pairing deftly with the hibiscus-infused gin.

Bitter Hearts Know Better is recognizable as a twist on the Gimlet, but the hibiscus and amaro provide floral and earthy qualities that separate it from the classic. Plus, the pink sugared rim lends a festive touch. You don’t have to wait until Valentine’s Day to make one (it tastes great year-round), but a good themed cocktail is guaranteed to liven up your holiday celebrations.



  1. Wet the rim of a coupe, then roll the rim in pink sugar until coated, and set aside.

  2. Add the hibiscus-infused gin, gentian amaro, lime juice and simple syrup into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  3. Strain into the prepared glass.

*Hibiscus-infused gin: In a large container, combine 1 750 mL bottle of gin with 1/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers and let sit for 8 hours. Strain back into bottle.