Mix 1 cup water with the sugar and 5-spice blend. Heat until dissolved. Strain and let cool.
In a lowball glass, pour 1 tablespoon 5-spice simple syrup and the bitters and muddle a kumquat into that action. Add ice, rum and a splash of fernet. Stir in the glass for 20 to 30 seconds, until well-chilled. Sip, then cheer the funk up.