Squarepeg and (the rapidly aging! gasp!) 19c79 have it right.
The reason your Google search for bourbon-based mixed drinks produced so few results is that bourbon is considered a finished product. It's more like wine in many ways than it is like other whiskeys.
To be called bourbon, a whiskey has to be made in America according to just a few very strict rules (grain mash that is minimum 51% corn, aged in new oak barrels, distilled to max of 160 proof, etc.). Those rules are tight enough that any whiskey made according to them will be identifiable as bourbon. But they're loose enough to leave lots of room for each distiller to exercise his own creativity, just like winemakers. We end up with a variety of bourbons with marked differences in depth, sweetness and other characteristics.
Like wine, the pleasure is in tasting and experiencing the maker's artisanship, preferably unadulterated by any mixers. A very light splash of water (never chlorinated or flouridated and therefore never tap) or a couple of ice cubes are all that's acceptable for anything considered a quality bourbon.
(It's quite awkward that the most popular mixed drink made with bourbon is the Manhattan cocktail. The Manhattan actually originated in New York during the Civil War as a recipe used to make ordinary rye whiskey taste more like the South's then unavailable bourbon. A bourbon manhattan is fine, but no quality bourbon, priced, say over $20 per fifth, should be sacrificed to make it.)
Because of its complexity, bourbon is one of those drinks whose flavor and general experience vary with the kind of glass from which it is drunk. Snifters, old fashioned (rocks) glasses and shot glasses each give a very different experience of the same bourbon. So one gift idea could be a nice set of one or two of each of those types of glasses along with a bottle of a good bourbon.
There's an excellent liquor store in your area where you can get great advice and find a very good selection of bourbons and barware. Check out France44
. It's the recommendation, by email just a moment ago, of a chef friend in the Twin Cities.
You're doing a very nice thing and any bourbon lover would be happy to call you a friend! (My birthday is in January, did I mention?)
And btw, tl/dr? Sorry, but I'm a former chef and hardcore bourbon lover. This thread struck a major 9th chord.