When I go out to dinner, typically I order water with lemon because I want to avoid excess calories and save a few dollars. However, when I want to indulge, a traditional Margarita on the rocks is my go-to drink.

It seems like I’m not alone in favoring a Margarita, as it is the No. 1 cocktail in the United States, according to insights from New York-based Nielsen CGA’s first “On-Premise Consumer Survey” report. Additionally, 44 percent of the 15,000 on-premise, legal-aged consumers surveyed noted that tequila is their favorite liquor base for cocktails.

Perhaps that’s why a sell-out crowd thirsting for a little salt and lime converged on Chicago’s lakefront for the 2nd Annual Margarita Festival at the South Shore Cultural Center, July 30-31. Attending this festival was something my daughter and I (and her friend and mother) had been planning since early March.

The day was filled with Salsa music, beach volleyball, six food trucks and, of course, plenty of sweet-and-sour Margaritas to sample and enjoy, including mango, lemon, grapefruit  and, one of my favorites, the sangria Margarita, made with fresh berries and red wine.

Because the event took place on Chicago Park District property, no cash could be exchanged — so, for the first time, I used an app to purchase drinks.

Using apps for purchases is becoming mainstream as more retailers and entrepreneurs embrace the technology. In June, Patrick Janelle, a food media and entertaining expert, and Maxwell Britten, a former bartender, launched The Liquor Cabinet app “to provide a definitive and spirited digital resource for all things liquor and cocktail related — first in the form of an app … that offers its users a tried-and-true digital recipe database of essential classic cocktails.”

Mobile apps are a valuable tool in today’s beverage market, facilitating the delivery of alcohol beverages to doorsteps and also helping to educate, engage and inspire consumers.