Kyrgios was handed a silver pear trophy and a black sombrero as he won his fifth ATP Tour title win.
With the win, the Australian improved to 4-3 in career head-to-head meetings against Zverev.
Kyrgios opened the second set with a break but then looked like he may start to crack when he found himself staring down a break point in the next game and double-faulted, allowing Zverev to draw level at 1-1.
The two combatants had split their previous six encounters but, clashing for the first time in a final, Kyrgios broke Zverev early in both sets. "But today I served well and just played the clutch points pretty well".
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He also beat three-time major victor Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals of a drama-filled week that saw him shake off hostile crowds, illness, injuries and moments of malaise - not to mention a post-match scolding from Nadal after he had served under arm at one stage.
"You're tame, you're so professional, you're an example to any tennis player and I think I can take a leaf out of your book and maybe I can catch you on some titles one day", said Kyrgios.
"He's an incredible player and doesn't have many weaknesses, so I knew I had to play my style of tennis".
"Now would be the moment to say well done to your team but, uh, you had two people there but I don't know", Zverev said.
Kyrgios entered this week a lowly 72nd but his title triumph means he will climb more than 50 places back into the world's top 32 on Monday. "I'm really happy with the performance".
"You know, I lack on the physical side a little bit", Kyrgios admitted with a smile.