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GENEVA (AFP) - The rustic Swiss village of Kallnach is not the sort of place you would automatically associate with controversial American rocker Marilyn Manson -- but its local speciality has sparked an unlikely collaboration.

The singer's interest has been piqued by one of the village's best known products, the fabled and highly potent liquor absinthe, which has been beloved of artists and writers since the days of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Arthur Rimbaud.

The family-run distillery Matter-Luginbuehl is now collaborating with Manson to produce thousands of bottles of his own brand of absinthe -- "Mansinthe" -- and is finding a worldwide audience.

"Production started in the beginning of August and we have made 6,000 bottles in one month," distillery head Oliver Matter told AFP on Thursday.

Manson, real name Brian Hugh Warner, has created the artwork for the label -- adorned with Gothic script and featuring a green-hued cadaverous-looking man poised to sip from his goblet.

Matter said the end result is a "classic absinthe with a fresh taste," made with various herbs and the all-important wormwood, but without any sugar or colourings.

The 38-year-old star has not yet visited the distillery in person, but was sent samples of different absinthes by its export partner Markus Lion, who has been Manson's supplier for many years, before deciding to which brand he would lend his name.

The collaboration first arose when Lion asked Manson if he would design a label for one of his absinthe bottles, following a concert by the star in the Swiss city of Basel some two years ago.

One bottle of the 66.6 percent proof drink costs 49 Swiss francs (41 dollars, 30 euros) at the distillery's online shop, though Matter said that some 90 percent of production was for export, including Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Greece and Italy.

Ironically, Mansinthe is not yet available in the United States because absinthe is still officially prohibited there, though Matter said he was hopeful this could change by the end of the year.

Absinthe has only been legally produced in Switzerland since 2004, following a ban imposed in 1908 after fears that drinking too much could send you mad or blind.

The drink's "outlaw" status and alleged hallucinogenic properties have long made it sought-after in artistic circles.

Manson told US music magazine Rolling Stone earlier this year that he first really got a taste for the drink during a party with Hollywood actor Johnny Depp in the south of France on Millennium Eve.

"We were ready for the apocalypse, and when it didn't come, we were disappointed, so we drank more absinthe and set off fireworks."

"Since then, I don't drink booze, I drink absinthe," he said.